Researchers from Auburn physics uncover molecular secrets of dangerous bacterial infections
Scientists at Auburn University have made a breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria with a new study on the molecular origins of mechano-stability during bacterial infections. In the study, they investigate the interaction between bacterial and human cell proteins. The interaction is known to play a significant role in the development of hospital-acquired infections, offering possible routes for the development of a new class of antimicrobial therapies that target these proteins.
Auburn biophysicist, Rafael C. Bernardi, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, led a team whose research is featured in the cover of the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) as seen in the photo to the right. The article, Molecular Origins of Force-Dependent Protein Complex Stabilization During Bacterial Infections, discusses how Staph bacteria can cling to human cells creating bonds that can resist for many hours under high shear forces. Using a dynamic network analysis approach, developed in Bernardi’s group, they identify the amino acid contacts that are essential in creating stable mechanical dissociation paths.
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