About the Project
In the Coulthurst group, we study the roles of the T6SS, the mechanisms of effector delivery, and the nature and mode-of-action of T6SS-dependent effector proteins. We utilise a wide range of molecular and cellular approaches and focus on representative examples of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. In this project, the mechanism of action and delivery of one or more newly-identified T6SS effector proteins will be investigated. In an inter-disciplinary study, we will combine, as required, molecular microbiology, genetics, ‘omics and cell biology approaches (SJC) with structural and biochemical analysis (WNH) and advanced microscopy and image analysis (CR). We aim to uncover the mode of action of the toxin, its journey of recognition and delivery by the T6SS and the consequences for the targeted cell. The student will gain experience in a number of state-of-the-art molecular techniques as well as a strong grounding in microbiology and molecular biology and opportunities to engage with the international research community and the general public.
Recent work from the lab and an overview of the research area can be found in the following references:
Mariano, G., Trunk, K., Williams, D.J., Monlezun, L., Strahl, H., Pitt, S.J. & Coulthurst, S.J. (2019). A family of Type VI secretion system effector proteins that form ion-selective pores. Nature Communications, 10, 5484.
Trunk, K., Peltier, J., Liu, Y., Dill, B.D., Walker, L., Gow, N.A.R., Stark, M.J.R., Quinn, J., Strahl, H., Trost, M. & Coulthurst, S.J. (2018) The Type VI secretion system deploys anti-fungal effectors against microbial competitors. Nature Microbiology, 3, 920–931.
Coulthurst, S.J. (2019) The Type VI secretion system: a versatile bacterial weapon. Microbiology, 165, 503–515.
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