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New Protein Cleanup Factors Found to Control Bacterial Growth

Illustrated electron micrograph of model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus

Researchers in Peter Chien's lab in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report finding how an essential bacterial protease controls cell growth and division. Details appear in the journal CELL. Lead author Kamal Joshi, a doctoral candidate in the Chien lab, conducted experiments in the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. In this species, the ability to grow and replicate DNA is regulated by ClpXP, a highly conserved protease that in many bacteria allows them to cope with stressful environments such as the human body. Understanding how ClpXP is controlled could open a path to antibiotics that inhibit harmful bacteria in new ways. Read more

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