Interactions between outer membrane and peptidoglycan in Brucella abortus

Project: Research

Project Details


Bacteria of the genus Brucellae are pathogenic alpha-proteobacteria.
Brucella is the etiologic agent of the brucellosis, a worldwide anthropozoonosis.
Brucella abortus causes the bovine brucellosis and is a mainly
intracellular pathogen that can infect professional or non-professional
phagocytic cells. Among the virulence factors, the envelope integrity is
crucial for the bacterium survival during the first steps of the infection. In
Escherichia coli, another Gram-negative bacterium, Braun’s lipoprotein or
Lpp takes part in the envelope stability by anchoring the outer membrane
(OM) to the peptidoglycan (PG). In B. abortus, no Lpp homolog could be
found after genome analysis and no other structure bridging the OM to the
PG are known. Along this project, we aim to unravel the protein(s)
responsible for the anchoring of the OM to the PG. Our hypothesis is that
such a protein could be bound to the PG covalently or non-covalently. For
the covalent bond hypothesis, we designed an approach with a priori where
candidates, chosen based on their structure and abundance in the OM, will
be investigated by genetic approaches. In the meantime, we will try to
identify candidates with an approach without a priori using biochemical
techniques. For the non-covalent bond hypothesis, the role of a PG binding
protein proposed to be involved in the cell division in other bacteria will be
investigated. Unravelling a structure bridging the OM to the PG would allow
a better understanding of the envelope structure of B. abortus, an important
structure during the infection, but could also – on the long term – identify a
new therapeutic target.
Short titleOM-PG interactions in Brucella
Effective start/end date1/10/1731/12/19

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR