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T-Cell Enzyme uses Deadly Multipronged Attack on Bacteria

06:23 EDT 27 Oct 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Researchers have discovered how an enzyme produced by immune system cells carries out a deadly, multipronged attack on invading bacteria. The enzyme, granzyme B, is released by cytotoxic T cells as part of the body’s natural fight against intracellular microbes. Collaborators at the University of Michigan and at Harvard University have now found that, unlike antibiotics, which disrupt a single bacterial process, granzyme B impacts on multiple bacterial processes all at the same time. The findings could potentially help scientists develop new antibiotics that are effective against existing multidrug-resistant pathogens and that prevent bacteria from developing resistance. Understanding how the enzyme exerts its multifaceted attack could also suggest how combinations of existing drugs might be repurposed to fight infection. “We have a huge crisis of antibiotic resistance right now in that most drugs that treat diseases like tuberculosis or listeria, or pathogens like E. coli , are not ...

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