What is Mitochondrial coxiella effector F (MceF)?

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What is Mitochondrial coxiella effector F (MceF)? Blog Image


Researchers recently discovered a previously unidentified protein named mitochondrial coxiella effector F (MceF) with antioxidant properties produced by Coxiella burnetii, a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium.

About Mitochondrial coxiella effector F (MceF):

  • It is a bacterial protein capable of keeping human cells healthy even when the cells have a heavy bacterial burden. 
  • It is produced by Coxiella burnetii, a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium.
  • After invading host cells, Coxiella burnetii releases MceF into cells.
  • MceF interacts with glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), an anti-oxidant enzyme located in the mitochondria, to improve mitochondrial function by promoting an anti-oxidizing effect that averts cell damage and death, which may occur when pathogens replicate inside mammalian cells.

Key Facts about Coxiella burnetii:

  • It is a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium.
  • It is the causative agent of a serious infection called Q fever, a zoonotic disease that can affect humans and animals.
  • The bacterium is primarily transmitted to humans through the inhalation of contaminated aerosols from infected animals, particularly through the air-borne particles from placental tissues, urine, feces, and milk of infected domestic animals like cattle, sheep, and goats.
  • It causes atypical pneumonia in humans and coxiellosis in some animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats.
  • It is highly adapted to invade and control macrophages and monocytes–white blood cells that are part of the organism’s front-line immune defense–inhibiting the host’s responses to the infection.

· Unlike other bacteria, which cause disease only when they multiply to reach large numbers, a single C. burnetii is enough to make a healthy person sick. 

Q1: What is Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are membrane-bound cell organelles (mitochondrion, singular) that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell's biochemical reactions. Chemical energy produced by the mitochondria is stored in a small molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondria contain their own small chromosomes. Generally, mitochondria, and therefore mitochondrial DNA, are inherited only from the mother.

Source:Scientists Have Discovered a Previously Unknown Protein Capable of Keeping Human Cells Healthy