Dispossessing disease-causing bacteria of their molecular weaponry
Research at Monash University has showed that a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), forms a molecular pump in bacteria that allows bacteria to shuttle key disease-causing molecules from inside the bacterial cell where they are made, to the outside surface, priming the bacteria for infection. One of the researchers, Joel Selkrig, said that a drug designed to inhibit TAM function would simply deprive the bacteria of their molecular weaponry and disable the disease process. This drug would also allow bacteria to stay alive after antibiotic treatment, preventing the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The Monash team, led by Professor Trevor Lithgow, showed the TAM was made of two protein parts, TamA and TamB, which function together to form a machine of molecular scale.