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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Survival strategies of bacteria in oxygen deprived environment.

Bacteria are known to exit in colonies, called biofilms, which enable them to live in harsh conditions and to resist antibiotics efficiently. One such bacterial species known to survive as biofilms and thrive in oxygen deprived environment is Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  They are the leading cause of death for people suffering from cystic fibrosis. The bacteria are known to adopt several strategies for subsistence in oxygen-less environment. They produce molecules known as phenazines that help them shuttle electrons from inside to outside of the cell  to the oxygen available at a distance. Another strategy is to make alternative versions of terminal oxidases (enzymes that transport electrons to oxygen) in low oxygen concentration conditions.

Jeanyong Jo and his team from the University of Columbia and with funding from the National Institute of Health have found that a part of the terminal oxidase, called the CcoN4 protein, help the bacteria to thrive well in low oxygen environment and to make them resistant to antibiotics as well.They have also found that this protein plays a major role in optimal utilization of the phenazines.

These findings would greatly enhance the developmental strategies for the therapy against the bacteria as these pathways are responsible for its survival as well as virulence. The study has been published in journal eLife.

For more information read here


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