Siderophores

Metabolomic analysis of E. coli strains causing recurrent urinary tract infections found high levels of small molecules involved in iron scavenging called siderophores. These virulence-associated bacterial systems and the co-evolving host factors are the subjects of biochemical and microbiological studies using quantitative mass spectrometry, chemical biology, bacterial genetics, and mouse models of infection. Where network analysis identifies specific pathogenic mechanisms, rational drug design efforts are pursued with in silico small molecule docking. Together, these studies suggest new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies for recurrent urinary tract infections.

ybt_copper_scheme

Schematic of copper-binding siderophore functions at the interface between yersiniabactin-expressing bacteria and white blood cells.

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