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Structural basis of malodour precursor transport in the human axilla

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.34995 DOI Help

Authors: Gurdeep S. Minhas (University of Oxford) , Daniel Bawdon (University of York) , Reyme Herman (University of York) , Michelle Rudden (University of York) , Andrew P Stone (University of York) , A Gordon James (Unilever Discover) , Gavin H. Thomas (University of York) , Simon Newstead (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Elife , VOL 7

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2018

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Mammals produce volatile odours that convey different types of societal information. In Homo sapiens, this is now recognised as body odour, a key chemical component of which is the sulphurous thioalcohol, 3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol (3M3SH). Volatile 3M3SH is produced in the underarm as a result of specific microbial activity, which act on the odourless dipeptide-containing malodour precursor molecule, S-Cys-Gly-3M3SH, secreted in the axilla (underarm) during colonisation. The mechanism by which these bacteria recognise S-Cys-Gly-3M3SH and produce body odour is still poorly understood. Here we report the structural and biochemical basis of bacterial transport of S-Cys-Gly-3M3SH by Staphylococcus hominis, which is converted to the sulphurous thioalcohol component 3M3SH in the bacterial cytoplasm, before being released into the environment. Knowledge of the molecular basis of precursor transport, essential for body odour formation, provides a novel opportunity to design specific inhibitors of malodour production in humans.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Biology and Bio-materials


Instruments: I24-Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography

Other Facilities: ESRF

Documents:
elife-34995-v2.pdf