The main cause of stomach ulcers is the corkscrew-shaped microbe Helicobacter pylori, which protects itself from the acid environment and burrows into the stomach wall. It does this with the help of a protein known as bactofilin. Now, scientists have used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the structure of this protein and how it forms those burrowing fibers. The research could make bactofilin or its bacterial production a new target for antibiotic drugs against H pylori.
Bacterial protein with a twist