Proteins discovered in gonorrhea may offer new approach to treatment - (Science Daily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • According to study data published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, scientists say they discovered novel bacterial proteins that cause gonorrhea, offering a potential avenue of attack against a disease that is showing increased resistance to the antibiotics, Science Daily reported.
  • Investigations on these proteins might lead to new ways to combat the disease, including a vaccine, new types of drugs to block the growth of the bacteria, or even restoring the efficacy of some older antibiotics that have lost their usefulness, said researcher Aleksandra Sikora.
  • "It appears that one or more of these proteins, either within the bacterial cell envelope or on its surface, are essential to its growth and survival. Now we have a new target to aim at," she said.
  • Using proteomics, scientists identified several proteins that reside in a space in the gonorrhea bacteria, an "envelope" and its small outpouchings, or membrane vesicles.
  • Sikora said "some past approaches to create a gonorrhea vaccine failed because they were focused on proteins essential to infection, which were quite unstable…Because they were changing so constantly they were unsuitable for a vaccine. The proteins we've now identified offer a much more stable and vulnerable target."
  • Researchers have already quantified the abundance of these cell envelope proteins and are learning their basic function, and in continued studies will screen compounds for activity against some of them, according to the news source.

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