Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Asparagine Metabolism Empowers Group A Streptococcus Infection

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 Jan 2014
Image: Photomicrograph (900x) of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, viewed using Pappenheim\'s stain (Photo courtesy of the CDC - [US] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Image: Photomicrograph (900x) of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, viewed using Pappenheim\'s stain (Photo courtesy of the CDC - [US] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Image: Micrograph (H&E stain) of necrotizing fasciitis, showing necrosis (center of image) of the dense connective tissue, i.e., fascia, interposed between fat lobules (top-right and bottom-left of image) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: Micrograph (H&E stain) of necrotizing fasciitis, showing necrosis (center of image) of the dense connective tissue, i.e., fascia, interposed between fat lobules (top-right and bottom-left of image) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
The bacteria that cause the frightening syndrome called "flesh-eating disease" have been found to be stimulated by the amino acid asparagine and inhibited by the chemotherapeutic enzyme asparaginase, which destroys asparagine.

Necrotizing fasciitis or NF, commonly known as "flesh-eating disease" is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues, which quickly spreads across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue. Individuals having compromised immune systems (due to conditions like diabetes, cancer, etc.) have greater risk of developing NF. It is a severe disease of sudden onset and is usually treated immediately with high doses of intravenous antibiotics. "Flesh-eating disease" is a misnomer, as the bacteria involved—most frequently Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A Streptococcus (GAS)—do not actually "eat" the tissue. They cause the destruction of skin and muscle by releasing toxins, which include streptococcal pyogenic exotoxins.

Investigators at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) reported in the January 16, 2014, issue of the journal Cell that during adherence to host cells, GAS releases streptolysin toxins, which create endoplasmic reticulum stress in the host cells. This stress causes an increase in the expression of the enzyme asparagine synthetase and the production of asparagine. The released asparagine is sensed by the bacteria, which induces altered expression of about 17% of the bacterial genes.

Asparaginase, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent, was found to block GAS growth in human blood and prevented GAS proliferation in a mouse model. To date asparaginase has not been used to treat GAS infections.

The Yissum Research Development Company (Jerusalem, Israel), the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has registered a patent for this discovery and is seeking commercial partners to help develop effective therapies against invasive Streptococcus infections.

Related Links:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Yissum Research Development Company



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Molecule in Green Tea Used as Carrier for Anticancer Proteins

A molecule that is a key ingredient in green tea can be employed as a carrier for anticancer proteins, forming a stable and effective therapeutic nanocomplex. This new discovery could help to construct better drug-delivery systems. Some cancer treatments depend on medication comprising the therapeutic drug and a carrier... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Discovery of Pain Receptor on T-cells Could Help Treat Autoimmune Disorders

Researchers have discovered that T-cells are activated by a pain receptor. The new findings revealed that the receptor helps control intestinal inflammation in mice and that its activity can be adjusted, providing a potential new target for treating certain autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and possibly multiple... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Yale West Campus is organized into research institutes and core facilities — all designed to promote collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue (Photo courtesy of Yale University).

American and European Partners Establish a Microscopy Center of Excellence

A prominent American university has announced a partnership agreement with a major European producer of microscopes and imaging tools that will establish a center for the use of cutting-edge imaging technologies... Read more

Business

view channel

Interest in Commercial Applications for Proteomics Continues to Grow

Increasing interest in the field of proteomics has led to a series of agreements between private proteomic companies and academic institutions as well as deals between pharmaceutical companies and novel proteomics innovator biotech companies. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.