Conformational Changes Plague Pathogens Yersinia

The spread fear and terror, especially in the past; but today the plague pathogens have still not been completely eradicating. The bacteria inject various enzymes, including the enzyme YopO, into the macrophages of the immune system. There it is activating and prevents the defense cells from enclosing and digesting the plague bacteria.

Yersinia also includes the plague pathogen, which caused fear and terror worldwide until the discovery of antibiotics. The major epidemics are over, but the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 1451 deaths. Plague bacteria are also finding in wild rodents. The transmission occurs mainly via fleas, but also via droplet infection. Yersinia trick the macrophages of the immune system.

Plague pathogens yersinia

The special feature of the plague pathogens is a kind of syringe with which they inject the YopO and some other enzymes into the macrophages of the immune system. However, YopO only becomes active when it binds to the actin of the scavenger cell.

Normally, the structural protein actin helps the phagocyte to form protrusions with which it flows around the pathogens and then dissolves them into small pieces. During this process, the macrophage calls for help from other defense cells. The Yersinia remain ultimately undisturbed. Researchers have been wondering for quite some time how YopO is activated by binding to actin, thus turning on the switch for the dramatic progression.

Crystal structure analysis

The enzymes are not stiff structures but have several mobile ‘hinges’ with which they can change their shape. This idea was a challenge because the normal method of crystal structure analysis did not work with the free YopO. As it turns out, it is too flexible to form ordering crystals.

The extremely intense and focused X-rays can be used to study the overall structure and structural changes of enzymes dissolved in water with the aid of small-angle X-ray scattering. Using the spin markers, we can use a molecular ruler the PELDOR method to measure the nanometer distances between these positions and thus determine how YopO and actin change shape.