Role of MCE domain-containing proteins in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Science


MCE domain containing proteins, although initially identified as having a role in the entry and survival of M. tuberculosis inside macrophages, have since been found to have a role in lipid transport within bacteria. In E. coli, three MCE domain containing proteins have been identified, all involved in the transport of phospholipids between its two cell membranes. However how these domains are involved in transport still remains to be elucidated. To provide further insight in to this process, this project focuses on studying the MCE domain containing proteins in the predatory bacterium B. bacteriovorus. B. bacteriovorus preys on a wide range of gram-negative bacteria and oscillates between free-living growth and predation. Bioinformatic analysis has revealed that B. Bacteriovorus contains 5 MCE domain containing proteins that are differentially expressed between growth and predation phases, suggesting their importance in the lifecycle of this predator. Understanding its specialised lipid transport mechanisms and the mechanisms by which B. bacteriovorus enters a prey cell could provide significant insight in to the understanding of how MCE domain containing proteins function and the development of a new generation antimicrobial agents. To analyse the role of these proteins will require a multidisciplinary approach, working in the fields of both biophysics and molecular biology and using the latest structural biology techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance, neutron and X-ray scattering, neutron reflectometry, electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2265862 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Giedre Ratkeviciute