Single-channel properties, sugar specificity, and role of chitoporin in adaptive survival of Vibrio cholerae type strain O1

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Published: 2020-05-14

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.ra120.012921

Affiliations: 2

Authors: 4

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Research Highlight

How cholera survives on shellfish

© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

A structural study of a nutrient-uptake protein that allows the bacterium responsible for cholera to thrive in brackish waters could help scientists develop new vaccines or treatments for the diarrheal illness.

A team led by scientists from the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology characterized the channel protein used by the cholera pathogen to absorb sugars found in crustacean shell waste.

They detailed the barrel-like shape and behaviour of the protein, showing that it could transport complex sugars only when those molecules contained components of chitin — a substance found in shrimp, lobsters and other shellfish.

The results reveal a crucial role for the protein, known as VcChiP, in the survival of the cholera bacterium under harsh aquatic conditions when chitinous sugars are often the only source of sustenance.

Supported content

  1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 295, 9421–9432 (2020). doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.012921
Institutions Share
School of Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BSE), VISTEC, Thailand 0.75
School of Chemistry, SUT, Thailand 0.25

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