Human Cells make Substances that Bust Up Bacterias

When faced with bacterial invaders, our human cells produce a very special substance; Soap. These cells, however, aren’t a part of the immune system of our body, which may be a surprising information. The way these fascinating cells fight the bacterias off is by unleashing a “detergent-like protein.” This protein would dissolve the chunks of the inner membrane of the bacteria to result in killing the bacteria. It is true that the main players of the immune system, such as the antibodies and the white blood cells, play a big role in protecting the body, but the truth not everyone is aware it that all the cells in our body have some ability to protect themselves from harmful outside forces threatening their well-being. More than any other organisms, these cellular defense abilities have often been ignored or overlooked in the human body. However, this defense system is very ancient and primordial and even has the potential to inform us more about the development or treatment of new infections in the future. Most times, these “non-immune” cells rely on the warning they receive from the professional immune cells to combat the disease in the body. When the immune cells defeat an outsider, they will release an alarm system called interferon-gamma, which is when the other cells will pick up. John MacMicking, an immunologist and a forward Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Yale, and his colleagues did an experiment where they searched for molecular basis by infecting the laboratory version of the human epithelial cell. They infected the cells with Salmonella bacteria which, “can exploit cells’ nutrient-rich interior” The scientists looked through more than 19,000 genes of human cells to find the cell that can fight against this bacteria and found a protein called APOL3. Looking closely at the actions of APOL3, the scientist found the protein swarming the bacteria and somehow killing it. Studying more closely into this case, the researchers were soon able to determine that it was actually the combination of APOL3 and another molecule called GBP1 that worked together to kill the bacteria. How things actually worked during the process was by GBP1 first loosening up the outer membrane of the bacteria and then APOL3 dissolving the inner lipid membrane. The scientists say they were surprised how human cells were able to create and utilize detergent-like substances to protect themselves.

Categories: Clinical