Bacteriophage is still a relatively unknown component of the human microbiome. However, they can play a powerful role in the bacterial life cycle. For the first time, University of Vienna biochemist Thomas Böttcher and PhD student Magdalena Jancheva can show how Pseudomonas aeruginosa can use self-generated signaling molecules to selectively manipulate phages of competing bacterial strains to defeat enemies. I did. This target control of phage provides a whole new bioengineering and therapeutic approach, for example for phage therapy. Results produced in the context of ERC grants can be found in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
A large number of phages are lurking in the human body and its microbial flora. These infect the bacteria as virus particles and guarantee the survival of the bacteria themselves. One of their strategies is to integrate into the bacterial genome and proliferate through bacterial cell division. However, external signaling molecules can cause a sudden awakening from the dormant phase of the phage. When activated, it destroys the host bacteria and releases newly generated virus particles. With a prestigious ERC consolidator grant from the European Research Council, Thomas Bocher will investigate the transition of phages from sleep (lysogenic) to activated (lytic) lifestyles.
War between microorganisms
“We already know that phages have a decisive effect on bacterial population dynamics and that microorganisms compete using chemical weapons,” said a professor of microbial biochemistry at the Department of Chemistry and the Center for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science. One Thomas Betcher said. “We now wanted to investigate whether there are microorganisms in the complex microbial ecosystem that specifically activate phages for use against competitors.”
Indeed, researchers show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces large numbers of signaling molecules that cause the conversion of phages present in S. aureus strains from quiet companions to deadly parasites. Is done.
Highly selective phage activation
“I was completely surprised to find that the compound piosianin, which we were able to isolate and synthesize, specifically activates only one of several Staphylococcus aureus phages. Therefore, piocyanin is a highly selective drug, “said co-author Magdalena Jancheva.
Mitomycin C induces DNA damage in bacterial cells and keeps phages away from dying hosts, but according to Thomas Böttcher, it “non-selectively activates all phages in the bacterium.” Researchers also observed that piosianin releases even more phage in Staphylococcus aureus than mitomycin C. Therefore, pyocyanin had a “very strong effect”.
Discovery provides a new perspective
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus occupy the same ecological niche of the human body. As pathogens, they frequently occur in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, a congenital metabolic disease. Staphylococcus aureus predominates at a young age, but Pseudomonas aeruginosa becomes more common with increasing age.
Current research shows the efficiency of potential phage activation by chemical signaling agents in the battle for space and resources between bacterial strains. This provides first evidence that chemical signaling agents can exhibit selectivity for specific phages of polylithogen bacterial strains. Here, activated phage (phiMBL3) revealed a previously unknown molecular switch on which signaling agents act.
“Specific signaling molecules may allow us to fight pathogens through phage activation, so they can be used to initiate internal phage therapy,” said Thomas Böttcher. .. At the same time, molecular switches of phage that selectively trigger the production of viral particles through signaling molecules such as pyocyanin may also serve as new tools in biotechnology or synthetic biology. “Our discoveries open up a wide range of areas in which we want to move forward,” the researchers conclude.
University of Vienna: Bacteria Takeover Potential Phage of Competitors – India Education | Latest Education News | Global Education News
Source link University of Vienna: Bacteria Takeover Potential Phage of Competitors – India Education | Latest Education News | Global Education News