MessageToEagle.com

Scientists Discover New Small Molecules
That Protect Bacteria Against Toxic Gold

8 February, 2013

Share this story:
Follow us:


MessageToEagle.com - McMaster researchers have discovered that gold resistant bacterium Delftia acidovorans can turn toxic water-soluble gold into a solid gold form, the first demonstration that gold-resistant microbe secretes a metabolite that can protect against toxic gold.

The research, published in Nature Chemical Biology, was led by Nathan Magarvey, an investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University and assistant professor in the departments of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and chemistry & chemical biology.

"It has long been known that Delftia acidovorans live within gold nuggets, though how the bacteria avoid gold-mediated toxicity has been a mystery," Magarvey said. He added that he and colleagues (including collaborators at Western University) discovered that a molecule excreted out of the bacteria cells is capable of complexing gold ions and forming gold aggregates that are no longer toxic.



Click on image to enlarge

Shown is the gold-associated microbe, Delftia acidovorans, that is found to live in biofilms on gold nuggets. D. acidovorans produces a small molecule, delftibactin, that can complex toxic ionic gold and precipitate it to form non-toxic solid gold nano particles (the beginnings of a gold nugget). Shown on the right is D. acidovorans wild-type and on the left is a D. acidovorans mutant that can no longer produce delftibactin. The black halo around D. acidovorans wild-type is gold nano particles that are formed by delftibactin, effectively protecting D. acidovorans from toxic ionic gold. Credits: McMaster University


Magarvey and his team with Dr. Bin Ma (University of Waterloo) developed a bioinformatics method recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The tools they are building now leads them to finding elusive bioactive metabolites, and assisted in identifying the peptide-like delftibactin A small molecules.

Using this method, and biological activity assays, the team grew a colony of the bacterium Delftia acidovorans, and conducted tests to determine how it produces the molecular-sized gold nuggets outside its cell wall.

They concluded the answer lies in a part of a molecule excreted by the microbe that both shields the organism and transforms the poisonous ions into particles.

"Our paper details a novel mechanism by which bacteria found on gold may protect themselves from toxic heavy metals, in this case gold," says graduate student Chad Johnston. "There is a protective mechanism by the gold resin bacteria in that it secretes a small molecule that binds it."

"What is interesting about this is the bacterium precipitates the molecule and forms gold nanoparticles and tiny gold platelets that are essentially the seeds of gold nuggets resembling those you would find in natural geological deposits. It is a novel mechanism for gold biomineralization, an extremely understudied but emerging field."

This is likely one of several features that enable the bacterium to exist in such environments.

"The natural function of molecules is a very fascinating subject and sometimes you can relate that to the organism based on some environmental context," said Magarvey.

He hopes the finding will open doors to understanding the importance of natural small molecules in the environment and also within medicine.

"Our focus is on how bacteria make molecules and the benefits that these molecules may have in medicine and in their ecological settings. Our next targets are those bugs that live on or within us, and realizing what roles human-associated bacteria and their metabolites play in our well-being and health."

Study Article

© MessageToEagle.com

See also:
Tough Bacteria That Turns Toxic Chemicals Into 24-Karat Gold

Scientists Unravel The Mystery Of Spider Silk

Follow MessageToEagle.com for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:


Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:

Astronomers Use The Z Machine To Create White Dwarfs In The Desert On Earth
Astronomers have discovered an exciting way to use the Z machine to create "star stuff" that can solve many astronomical mysteries. Scientists hope gained knowledge will shed more light on the archaeological history of...


Moths - Masters Of Disguise

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Go to - MAIN PAGE

Copyright © MessageToEagle.com All rights reserved.
Go to - MAIN PAGE


Advertise With Us!

Submissions

 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Other Popular Articles

Tractor Beams Of Light - No Longer Pure Science Fiction!
Science fiction meets real science! "Tractor beams" - fascinating invisible beams that can push and pull objects, leave science fiction domain. The concept of "tractor beam" used in science fiction films and books to haul spaceships and capture floating capsules gains scientific attention.


They Produce Water From The Air! An Amazing Invention For Those Who Really Need It!

"How can we help someone so powerful they can create water out of thin air?" an astonished Jabin yells in Star Trek's Caretaker. If you are a Star Trek fan you will remember how the Kazons try to aquire technology that can create water our of thin air. This technology is no longer in the realms of science fiction. Today we can really create water out of thin air!


Star Trek Tricorder - Now Available Online For Anyone To Build!

Imagine you can see what cannot be seen. Wouldn't you want to actually be able to see beyond the visible? The good news is that from now on it will be possible to see things we have previously only dreamt of. We certainly live in exciting times. More and more devices that have long been considered pure science fiction are now quickly becoming reality.


Do We Live In A Computer Simulation Created By An Advanced Alien Civilization?

The captivating idea that we might be living in 3 dimensional holographic simulation has been put forward by various scientists. We will explore this mind-boggling idea further and examine some intriguing questions. If we suspect that we are programmed beings living inside a simulation is there any way for us to find out if this is true? Is it possible to change the outcome of this virtual game? Who could have created this matrix and for what reason?


Spying On People Inside Building Through The Walls

Now, spying on people at home through the walls is easy. Also find out what's going on behind closed doors - it's nothing particularly difficult. They will even know whether you're sitting or standing!


Biometrics: Eye-Scanners Can Be Fooled

Iris scanning technologies allow people to use their eyes to prove their identify. S canning your iris has been considered a very good security tool, but now it turns out it is actually possible to fool eye-scanners!


European Physicists Break Quantum Teleportation Record!

Teleportation experiments represent a crucial step toward future quantum networks in space, which require space to ground quantum communication. A few weeks ago, the Chinese physicists achieved a great progress by teleporting more than 1100 photons over a distance of 97 kilometres in only four hours, but the teleportation competition still continues...


Incredible Crystal Star City Hovering In The Air - It Looks Just Like An Alien Invasion

Imagine it's late in the evening and you go out for a walk to get some fresh air. Suddenly when you look up to gaze at the night sky, you are stunned to see a huge, crystal star city hovering above your head. What is happening, you ask yourself as you watch the city that is home to thousands of individuals.


Levitating Ball Defies Gravity - Incredible Technology Of The Future

Acccording to recent survey, a huge active fault was found under Mount Fuji, standing at 3,776 meters (12,385 feet) above sea level. The dangerous fault can trigger a magnitude-7 earthquake, close to a volcano, changing the shape of the mountain and destroying nearby communities...


A Future Journey To High Heavens - A Vision Of Tomorrow's Reality

Once upon a time, the biblical patriarch Jacob had a dream of a ladder leading to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it.
We, modern human, also have a dream to come closer to high heavens and the idea of a space elevator is not a new one...

Artificial Intelligence: Super-Turing Machine Imitates Human Brain
As computer scientists this year celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who set out the basis for digital computing in the 1930s to anticipate the electronic age, they still quest after a machine as adaptable and intelligent as the human brain.

A Milestone Towards Future Satellite-Based Quantum Teleportation Achieved But Race Still Continues!
Teleportation experiments represent a crucial step toward future quantum networks in space, which require space to ground quantum communication. Physicists achieved a great progress by teleporting more than 1100 photons...

Technology:


Space-Time Crystal Computer That Can Outlive Even The Universe Itself!

World’s Thinnest Screen Created From A Soap Bubble

Brilliant Idea: Scientists Create Toilet Which Turns Poo Into Electricity

Most Important Innovations In The Next Five Years - From IBM

Visit The Most Extreme Soundless Place On Earth

Amazing Technology: Bio-Powered Lamp Absorbing CO2

W3Counter