Sunday , April 18 2021

New metabolic mechanism in bacteria – Medical news

An international study conducted by Spanish researchers has revealed a new metabolism in bacteria

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Detailed information on the three-dimensional structure of protein in atomic resolution / IRNASA

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Detailed information on the three-dimensional structure of protein in atomic resolution / IRNASA

This is the first evidence that some of these microorganisms living in an environment where there is no light and oxygen use metabolites that were considered as unique organisms that carry photosynthesis. Discovery can help fight bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

An international study, led by the Salamanca Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology (IRNASA, CSIC Center), describes a new metabolism in bacteria. Opinion published in the prestigious scientific journal Works by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) is the first evidence that some bacteria that live in an environment where there is a lack of light and oxygen can use metabolism that was considered unique to organisms that carries photosynthesis. In the field of biomedicine, this discovery opens up a new way to fight the resistance of some bacteria to antibiotics.

Living beings produce the energy from the food using a very complex network of biochemical reactions, which we generally call metabolism. The processing processes that take place inside the cells are the molecular scale of life, from which they acquire the necessary energy to, for example, move, grow or reproduce many other forms of vital activity.

The type of metabolism that occurs in the cells of the body determines the type of substance that will be nutritious and toxic to this organism. For example, some bacteria use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, but this gas is poisonous for most animals. In the same way, the special metabolic process that the plants eat, allows them to live only from water and sunlight, something impossible for animals.

This discovery opens up a new way to fight the resistance of some bacteria to antibiotics

There are, therefore, a variety of different metabolic reactions that occur in living entities. Considering its importance, most metabolic processes have been studied and widely described over the last decades. However, in some organisms it is still possible to find new varieties of metabolic processes.

Extract anaerobic bacterial protein

This study, conducted by IRNASA researcher Monica Balsera, has been researching a new protein that exists only in some anaerobic bacteria, namely bacteria that are in an oxygen-free environment.

This protein is a hydrate of two different proteins, usually appearing on individual metabolic pathways: on the one hand, the NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase (NTR) that occurs in all known living organisms; and, on the other hand, tredoredoxine reductase is dependent on ferredoxin (FTR), which is not related to photosynthetic organisms.

The resulting protein, which is called ferredoxin, is dependent on Flavin-Thiorredoxin Reducing (FFTR), is specific because it contains an unprecedented combination of two initial protein functions. On the one hand, since FTR interacts with ferroxin, on the other hand, it uses NTR as a flavin cofactor.

This is the first evidence that some bacteria use metabolic mechanisms that seem to be unique to photosynthesis organisms

This mixture results in the creation of a new protein with unique properties, described in detail, and for the first time published in the work PNAS. In order to carry out this study, it is essential to obtain an atomic resolution of a three-dimensional protein derived from high-energy X-ray diffraction experiments produced by ALBA (Barcelona) and Diamond synchrotrons (Oxford, United Kingdom).

From the scientific point of view, the discovery is a huge concern, given that this is the first evidence that some bacteria living in an environment that is lacking in oxygen, if they are not exposed to light, use the so far mindful metabolism that was unique to photosynthetic organisms such as algae and plants.

From a biomedical point of view, the study is even more important if possible, because some of the bacteria in which this protein is found are extremely pathogenic, which are also included Clostridium difficile, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, causing pseudomembranous colitis, botulism and tetanus.

Therefore, this finding opens up the door to developing new approaches for molecules with antibiotic activity. Currently, one of the most pressing public health problems has been accelerating in recent years, in view of the ever-increasing rise of resistant and multidrug-resistant bacteria. years due to malicious use of antibiotics.

Bibliographic reference

Ferodoxin-bound flavonostam from a pyridine-nucleotide-independent thioredoxin reductase family. Rubén M Buey, David Fernández-Justel, José M de Pereda, José L Revuelta, Peter Schürmann, Bob B Buchanan and Mónica Balsera. United States National Academy of Sciences 2018 trial. Https://

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