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Friday, December 19, 2014

Researchers Discover Protein Protecting Bacteria Against Chlorine

Chlorine is a common disinfectant that is used to kill bacteria, for example in swimming pools and drinking water supplies. Our immune system also produces chlorine, which causes proteins in bacteria to lose their natural folding. These unfolded proteins then begin to clump and lose their function. Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) researchers headed by professor Lars Leichert have discovered a protein in the intestinal bacterium E. coli that protects bacteria from chlorine. In the presence of chlorine, it tightly bonds with other proteins, thus preventing them from coagulating. Once the danger has passed, it releases them again and the proteins can continue to work as usual. The researchers report their findings in the current issue of Nature Communications. READ MORE

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