Bacterial Protein Mimics DNA to Sabotage Cells' Defenses
Published:30 Sep.2018    Source:ScienceDaily

 Infections with Salmonella bacteria, often caused by eating or handling undercooked meat or eggs, affect about 100 million people a year worldwide. The suffering the infection causes -- abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea -- is the result of an extremely precise set of molecular interactions between the bacterium and the infected human's cells. In a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at Imperial College London and the Francis Crick Institute report some of the details of how Salmonella shuts down an immune pathway after infection.


When a pathogen like Salmonella enterica infects a cell, the cell activates a series of signals, culminating in certain genes being turned on to activate protective immune responses. One group of proteins that turn on immune-related genes is known as the NF-kappaB transcription factors. Salmonella, however, produces its own set of proteins that stop this from happening.