How bacteria exploit proteins to cause lethal infections

Washington: A new study has revealed how bacteria exploit human proteins during lethal infections.

The research by scientists at the University of York has found how Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause life-threatening human infections, attach to two proteins fibronectin and fibrinogen found in human blood.

The scientists have solved the three dimensional structure of the bacterial protein FnBPA in complex with a small part of the human protein fibrinogen and the findings showed that the fibrinogen binding site on FnBPA is close to, but not overlapping with, the binding site for fibronectin.

Professor Jennifer Potts said that bacteria have evolved various mechanisms to exploit human proteins to cause infection and understanding it might not only lead to the development of new therapeutics but can also provide important information regarding the normal role of these human proteins in the body.

The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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