Protein transport channel offers new target for thwarting pathogen

A bacterium that attacks people suffering from chronic lung disease and compromised immune systems could be halted by disrupting the distribution channels the organism uses to access the nutrient-rich cytoplasm of its host cell.
The findings by researchers in Oregon State University's colleges of science and veterinary medicine are important because they suggest a new therapeutic target for one of the leading causes of bacterial infection in patients with HIV/AIDS.
The bacterium is Mycobacterium avium, the most common pathogen among non-tuberculosis mycobacteria. Highly opportunistic, M. avium invades and proliferates within a variety of human cells; it resides in a cytoplasmic vacuole and survives by remodeling its vacuolar compartment and resisting its host's antimicrobial mechanisms.Proteins of the mycobacteria dock to transport proteins of the phagosome in the host cell in a way that allows for the efficient secretion of effector proteins. Researchers identified voltage-dependent anion channels as a possible means of exporting those proteins.
Source : www.sciencedaily.com      2017/9/13 08:24

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