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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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MEMBERSHIP  ::  Meet the Microbiologist

Meet the Microbiologist

Why do Gram-negative bacteria build nanomachines?

Gram-negative bacteria are surrounded by two lipid bilayer membranes that protect and delineate the cytoplasm from the surrounding environment. These membranes are semi-permeable and only allow the diffusion of small molecules. Translocation of larger substrates, including proteins, across bacterial membranes requires the use of specialized nanomachines. These nanomachines are activated in response to specific environmental cues, allowing bacteria to transport molecules that will shape their local environment and promote their survival.

The type II secretion system

The type II secretion system (T2SS) is a nanomachine used by Gram-negative bacteria to transport large proteins in their native, active form from the periplasmic space to the outside environment. Substrates secreted by the T2SS, called exoproteins, are often toxins (such as cholera toxin) or a variety of enzymes that degrade macromolecules including DNA, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates or even man-made plastic. Although many T2SSs secrete multiple proteins, exoproteins do not have conserved linear secretion signals making their identification a challenge. Work in the laboratory is focused on studying the T2SSs from Klebsiella pneumoniae and pathogenic Escherichia coli with the goal of understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in protein secretion, the targets of secreted proteins and the underlying mechanisms that promote bacterial survival within their niche.






Jenny-Lee Thomassin

I recently joined the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Saskatchewan as an assistant professor (May 2020). My research interests are focused on how bacteria interact with and shape their local environment. I am specifically interested in the molecular mechanisms involved in protein secretion, the targets of secreted proteins and the underlying mechanisms that promote bacterial survival within their infectious niche. Current work in my lab is focused on studying the bacterial type II secretion system (T2SS) in Klebsiella pneumoniae and pathogenic Escherichia coli.


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Contact Information
University of Saskatchewan
6B53, Health Sciences Building
Saskatoon, Out of country S7N 5E5
Canada
Phone  
1(306) 966-5322

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CSM-SCM Secretariat
17 Dossetter Way
Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3
Canada

Tel: (613) 421-7229




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