Research on ocean-dwelling bacterium unveils food poisoning mechanism in human

Published on August 20, 2010 at 7:39 AM · No Comments

Most people become infected by V. para by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organism also can cause an infection in the skin when an open wound is exposed to warm sea water.

Dr. Orth's research on V. para proteins has potential applications in other areas of cell biology. The particular phosphate that VPA0450 removes also is important to other host-cell proteins that control certain communication signals within and between cells, signals related to how cells grow and move, as well as how they maintain their structural integrity. As such, exploiting VPA0450's unique abilities could prove to be a useful research tool.

"Scientists have the ability to manipulate many cell-signaling pathways," Dr. Orth said. "VPA0450 could be used as a valuable tool to remove this key phosphate to change membrane signaling in a cell model system, which would then allow us to study these pathways in more detail."

Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center

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