Our lab studies signaling mechanisms that mediate bacterial growth, stress response, and pathogenesis. One pathway of particular interest is mediated by c-di-AMP, a small nucleotide second messenger that is ubiquitously present in archaea and bacteria. C-di-AMP is essential to the growth and virulence of many bacterial species, and a balanced level of this nucleotide is required for normal bacterial physiology. We and others have shown that c-di-AMP mediates many cellular processes, and triggers host innate immune responses during bacterial infection.
We currently investigate the molecular basis for c-di-AMP essentiality and toxicity in different model bacteria. We take multidisciplinary approach to address the following aspects of bacterial physiology and pathogenesis:
- Bacterial physiology and genetics: signal transduction, growth, stress responses, virulence
- Protein chemistry: proteomics, protein-protein interactions, protein-nucleotide interactions, structure-function, protein engineering
- Host cell innate immunity: innate immune responses upon bacterial infection
- Our model organisms: Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus subtilis, Bacteroides sp.