Personalised antibiotic treatment strategies for tuberculosis patients

Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with an estimated 1.4 million deaths and ten million people infected annually. Resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) variants of the tuberculosis pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis pose a major threat to tuberculosis control and global health. Rapid detection of these patient-specific resistance patterns is therefore crucial for targeted treatment and successful control of the transmission of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis bacteria—a goal that DZIF scientists have now taken a major step towards.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

How a harmful fungus renders its host plant defenseless

The fungus Ustilago maydis attacks corn and can cause significant damage to its host. To do this, it first ensures that the plant offers little resistance to the infection. The surgical precision it applies is shown by a new study from the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal New Phytologist. The Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben were also involved in the work.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Anti-cancer dream cream shrinks oral tumors

Researchers have found that treatment with miR-634 reduces the resistance of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells to cisplatin, resulting in increased tumor cell killing. An ointment containing miR-634 had a similar effect in mice, suggesting that this simple topical treatment could be used to improve the prognosis of patients with advanced oral cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Anti-cancer dream cream shrinks oral tumors

Researchers have found that treatment with miR-634 reduces the resistance of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells to cisplatin, resulting in increased tumor cell killing. An ointment containing miR-634 had a similar effect in mice, suggesting that this simple topical treatment could be used to improve the prognosis of patients with advanced oral cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Malaria drug could combat chemotherapy-resistant head and neck cancers, research suggests

A new study suggests that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine inhibits pathways that drive resistance to the chemotherapy agent cisplatin in head and neck cancers and restores tumor-killing effects of cisplatin in animal models.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Large bacterial populations develop stronger resistance to antibiotics

In large bacterial populations, mutants that evolve relatively late resist antibiotic treatment more effectively, while smaller populations rely on less effective mutations that appear at an earlier point in time / publication in ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution’

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Why multiple myeloma returns

Multiple myeloma, the most common type of bone marrow cancer in Germany, almost always returns, even after initial treatment success. In the majority of cases, the reasons behind this treatment resistance (e.g., genetic mutations) and the subsequent return of the disease, remain unknown. According to new research, it is the increased production of a specific protein which diminishes the cancer’s sensitivity to treatment.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Scientists decode chemical defense against plant sap-sucking leafhoppers

In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology describe a newly discovered mechanism that protects a wild tobacco species from plant sap-sucking leafhoppers. By combining different genetic screening methods with the study of chemical changes in tobacco leaves, they identified a previously unknown defense substance important for the tobacco’s resistance to leafhoppers and characterized the genes for its biosynthesis

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Novel therapeutic target in multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow, with a life expectancy of less than 5 years post-diagnosis. Proteasome inhibitors, the therapeutic backbone of current treatments, are very effective in treating newly diagnosed cancers but resistance or intolerance to these molecules inevitably develop, leading to relapses. While studying a neglected tropical disease , Buruli ulcer, researchers discovered a novel therapeutic target for multiple myeloma that could allow to bypass this resistance.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Feeling the heat: Steroid hormones contribute to the heat stress resistance of plants

Plants, like other organisms, can be severely affected by heat stress. To increase their chances of survival, they activate the heat shock response, a molecular pathway also employed by human and animal cells for stress protection. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered that plant steroid hormones can promote this response in plants.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Improving drug options for colorectal cancer patients

Patients with colorectal cancer were among the first to receive targeted therapies. These drugs aim to block the cancer-causing proteins that trigger out-of-control cell growth while sparing healthy tissues. But some patients are not eligible for these treatments because they have cancer-promoting mutations that are believed to cause resistance to these drugs. Now, physician-scientists have used computer modeling and cell studies to discover that more patients may be helped by a common class of targeted therapies than previously thought.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Strategy to overcome tumors’ resistance to immunotherapy generates promising clinical trial results

Immune checkpoint inhibitors strengthen the immune response against cancer cells, but the medications are ineffective against certain tumors. Results from a new clinical trial indicate that adding radiation may overcome this resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

New strategy against treatment-resistant prostate cancer identified

A new study has identified an RNA molecule that suppresses prostate tumors. The scientists found that prostate cancers develop ways to shut down this RNA molecule to allow themselves to grow. According to the new research — conducted in mice implanted with human prostate tumor samples — restoring this so-called long noncoding RNA could be a new strategy to treat prostate cancer that has developed resistance to hormonal therapies.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

‘Gut bugs’ can drive prostate cancer growth and treatment resistance

Common gut bacteria can become ‚hormone factories‘ – fuelling prostate cancer and making it resistant to treatment, a new study shows. Scientists revealed how gut bacteria contribute to the progression of advanced prostate cancers and their resistance to hormone therapy — by providing an alternative source of growth-promoting androgens, or male hormones. The findings, once further validated in the clinic, could provide new opportunities for the treatment of prostate cancer through manipulation of the microbiome.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

An estrogen receptor that promotes cancer also causes drug resistance

Cancer cells proliferate despite a myriad of stresses — from oxygen deprivation to chemotherapy — that would kill any ordinary cell. Now, researchers have gained insight into how they may be doing this through the downstream activity of a powerful estrogen receptor. The discovery offers clues to overcoming resistance to therapies like tamoxifen that are used in many types of breast cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Novel assay finds new mechanism underlying red blood cell aging

A multifaceted microfluidic in vitro assay is helping to identify the role of hypoxia on red blood cell aging via the biomechanical pathways. It holds promise for investigating hypoxic effects on the metastatic potential and relevant drug resistance of cancer cells. It also can be a useful tool to predict the mechanical performance of natural and artificial red blood cells for transfusion purposes and to further extend to red blood cells in other blood diseases and other cell types.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

How resistant germs transport toxins at molecular level

Chemistry: publication in Nature Communications

In order to counter the increasing threat posed by multi-drug resistant germs, we need to understand how their resistance mechanisms work. Transport proteins have an important role to play in this process. In an article published in the journal Nature Communications, a German/UK research team led by Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now described the three-dimensional structure of transport protein Pdr5, found also in a similar form in pathogenic fungi. The results could help develop mechanisms to combat dangerous pathogens.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Two branches of plant immune response closely linked

Study by University of Tübingen and Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research overhauls conventional view of plant immune response – pathogen resistance an important goal in crop development

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Existing drug may help improve responses to cellular therapies in advanced leukemias

A new study shows how to overcome resistance to CAR T cell therapy with an experimental small molecule inhibitor.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Researchers pinpoint how PARP inhibitors combat BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor cells

PARP inhibitors, used to treat patients with cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate and pancreas, work by inducing persistent DNA gaps in tumor cells with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The discovery offers the potential to monitor tumors for the development of resistance to PARP inhibitor therapy, and to identify drug combinations that could prevent drug resistance and improve the efficacy of cancer therapies.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Highly potent, stable nanobodies stop SARS-CoV-2

Göttingen researchers have developed mini-antibodies that efficiently block the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its dangerous new variants. These so-called nanobodies bind and neutralize the virus up to 1000 times better than previously developed mini-antibodies. In addition, the scientists optimized their mini-antibodies for stability and resistance to extreme heat. This unique combination makes them promising agents to treat COVID-19. Since nanobodies can be produced at low costs in large quantities, they could meet the global demand for COVID-19 therapeutics. The new nanobodies are currently in preparation for clinical trials.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Random effects make it difficult to optimise antibiotic therapy

Research team from the Kiel Evolution Center investigates the role of a reduction in bacterial population size and resulting random effects in the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Cancer: Information theory to fight resistance to treatments

A major challenge in cancer therapy is the adaptive response of cancer cells to targeted therapies. Although this adaptive response is theoretically reversible, such a reversal is hampered by numerous molecular mechanisms that allow the cancer cells to adapt to the treatment. A team has used information theory, in order to objectify in vivo the molecular regulations at play in the mechanisms of the adaptive response and their modulation by a therapeutic combination.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

How pancreatic cancer cells dodge drug treatments

Pancreatic cancer cells typically rely on a mutant version of the KRAS protein to proliferate. These cancer cells can also survive losing KRAS by activating alternative growth pathways. Scientists discovered a new interaction between mutant KRAS and a protein complex called RSK1/NF1 that may be the source of this adaptive resistance.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

New study on South American grass frogs: Battle between molecular forces leads to toxin resistance

A gene duplication leads to frogs of the genus Leptodactylus being resistant to certain poisons. This was discovered by an international research team with the participation of the Department of Biology at Universität Hamburg. The results show that the study of gene duplicates can help identify important genetic interactions.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft