Picture of the Week: Zooming in on Bacterial Weapons in 3D
Picture of the Week: We would like to introduce this new category with a picture from the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen Germany, which shows a bacterial infection of a host cell.
The plague, bacterial dysentery, and cholera have one thing in common: These dangerous diseases are caused by bacteria which infect their host using a sophisticated injection apparatus. Through needle-like structures, they release molecular agents into their host cell, thereby evading the immune response. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen in cooperation with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and the University of Washington in Seattle (USA) have now elucidated the structure of such a needle at atomic resolution. Their findings might contribute to drug tailoring and the development of strategies which specifically prevent the infection process.
Antoine Loquet, Nikolaos G. Sgourakis, Rashmi Gupta, Karin Giller, Dietmar Riedel, Christian Goosmann, Christian Griesinger, Michael Kolbe, David Baker, Stefan Becker, and Adam Lange: Atomic Model of the Type III Secretion System Needle. Nature advance online publication 20 May 2012. doi:10.1038/nature11079
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