is the bane of society. Young people afflicted with it could suffer
from infertility and others life-threatening health problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there
were 1.7 million cases reported in 2017, making it the most sexually
transmitted disease of all.
worst part is that there are still many people who don’t know they
have the disease, leaving to spread the bacteria unknowingly.
drug treatment is on hand, the CDC reinfection is not unheard of and
suggests doctors retest patients after treatment. Due to the
widespread problem, the research community to actively looking for
other treatment ideas and vaccines.
the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria is tough, it’s still unable to
survive on its own. It must attach itself to a healthy cell,
manipulating it to live. A couple of Southern Illinois University
Carbondale researchers are looking at how chlamydia lives inside its
and Biochemistry associate professor Kyle Plunkett and Microbiology
associate professor Derek Fisher got together and attained a $
442,000-second fund National Institutes of Health grant for research
to continue. Altogether, the researchers have received $860,000 in
researchers, as well as undergraduate and graduate student
researchers, have looked at a particular enzyme that flags proteins
by attaching a phosphate molecule to them. They’re also looking at
the enzyme that sends the molecule on its way. This process is known
as phosphorylation and could help in the development of new drugs or
vaccines to treat or prevent the disease.
researchers’ goal is to develop a chemical way in which to hinder
the process. They are first observing the bacteria and how it infects
a healthy cell, then how it can replicate itself and, finally, how it
changes from the two forms.
infection type of chlamydia (called the elementary body), the
bacteria comes into contact with epithelial cells and uses its
syringe-like part to get into the cell membrane so that it can give
cells special proteins. The proteins allow the bacteria to consume
the cell and envelope with another membrane structure known as an
the bacteria gets inside, it changes into a reticulate body and
reproduces until the cell ruptures and move onto other cells,
changing back to its original process where it begins again.
said researchers still don’t understand how the bacteria’s
infectious form knows when it needs to invade the cells and know when
it’s time to change form. It’s assumed that it receives signals
but the mechanics of it is unknown.
researchers are going to look at how phosphorylation plays a part in
the chlamydial growth and development. Fisher said they hypothesize
that the process has a hand in the chlamydial regulatory process,
telling and helping it to carry out its job.
study will look at the one protein phosphatase and three protein
kinases, which were noted as being worthwhile research avenues in the
first funding round. The Pkn5 is regarded as the most interesting as
it’s the kind the bacteria injected into a host cell using the
will look at the synthesis of new molecules to can hinder the protein
phosphatase called CppA and how it hinders its part. He is altering
the molecules’ molecular structure researchers have noted hinder
CppA to better the effectiveness.
The NIH grant money will be used to pay for additional graduate student, two undergrad student research assistants for three years, conference attendance, lab consumables and publications for sharing results.