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Feb 14, 2008

Investigators Illuminate Mechanism of Immune Suppression in Staph Infection

  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine demonstrated that a bacterial toxin from Staphylococcus aureus shuts down the ion channel’s control mechanism in immune-cell membranes.

    The ion channels in immune cells called Kv1.3 channels allow only potassium ions to pass. This activity triggers an immune response. Researchers studied frog eggs that were engineered to have particular voltage-gated ion channels in their membranes.

    They found that removal of phosphate head groups from some membrane lipids by the bacterial toxin called sphingomyelinase (SMase) C shuts down the Kv1.3 channel.

    The study is published in the February 14 issue of Nature.



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Cancer vs. Zika: What Worries You Most?

While Zika continues to garner a lot of news coverage, a Mayo Clinic survey reveals that Americans believe the country’s most significant healthcare challenge is cancer. Compared to other diseases, does the possibility of developing cancer worry you the most?

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