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Researchers from SCELSE and NTU School of Biological Sciences identify pathway that can be targeted to prevent chronic infections caused by bacterial pathogen
19 October 2016

Research by SCELSE and NTU School of Biological Sciences has been featured on the cover of Science Signaling journal.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is of concern in healthcare settings because it is resistant to antibiotics. The bacterium forms biofilms on surfaces such as medical catheters or inside the lungs of patients, which drastically reduces the effectiveness of drug treatment. P. aeruginosa biofilm formation depends on the movement of the bacterium, which changes direction frequently to adjust to changing conditions.

The bacterial second messenger cyclic diguanylate monophosphate (c-di-GMP) plays an important role in biofilm formation and dispersal. A team of researchers from SCELSE and NTU School of Biological Sciences find that when c-di-GMP binds with an adaptor protein called MapZ (methyltransferase-associated PilZ) the frequency of flagellar motor switching was reduced. Consequently, this hinders the movement of the bacteria – suppressing direction changes, surface attachment and biofilm formation.

Based on these results, SCELSE researchers identify the MapZ-associated pathway as a potential target to prevent chronic and hard-to-treat infections caused by P. aeruginosa.

Please click HERE for publication details.