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Remodelling of the mammalian actin cytoskeleton by bacterial pathogens

Supervisor: Professor Vassilis Koronakis
Based at Division of Microbiology & Parasitology, Tennis Court Road

The virulence of many pathogenic bacteria relies on the abilty to manipulate the actin cytoskeleton of Eukaryotic host cells. This allows pathogens to invade host cells (e.g. Salmonella), to adhere tightly (e.g. EPEC), to disseminate from infected cells (e.g. Shigella) and to evade host phagocytes (e.g. Yersinia). These bacteria deploy a cocktail of effector proteins into host cells to subvert the signaling networks that control the function and architecture of the cytoskeleton. This project will dissect these key signalling networks using a multidisciplinary approach involving cell biology, fluorescence microscopy, protein biochemistry/biophysics and molecular genetics. 


Recent publications

Hume et al (2017). Swiss Army Pathogen: The Salmonella entry toolkit. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 7, 348

Singh et al (2017). Arf GTPase interplay with Rho GTPases in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Small GTPases. doi: 10.1080/21541248.2017.1329691.

Brooks et al (2017). MYO6 is targeted by Salmonella virulence effectors to trigger PI3-kinase signaling and pathogen invasion into host cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 3915-3920.

Humphreys et al (2017) Inhibition of WAVE Regulatory Complex Activation by a Bacterial Virulence Effector Counteracts Pathogen Phagocytosis. Cell Rep. 17, 697-707.

Humphreys et al (2013). Arf6 coordinates actin assembly through the WAVE complex, a mechanism usurped by Salmonella to invade host cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110, 16880-16885.