Molecular Mechanisms of Novel Bacterial Copper Defense Proteins

Project dates: 01/01/2019 - Ongoing

This project aims to reveal molecular and cellular mechanisms used by bacteria to neutralise the destructive effects of copper. Copper is an essential trace element in living systems. It is toxic to bacteria and so plays a vital role in nutritional immunity. To counteract copper toxicity, bacteria have evolved defense mechanisms. The project will investigate a novel but poorly understood class of bacterial proteins, the suppressor of copper sensitivity proteins, that contribute to this key virulence trait. The expected outcomes will be fundamental new knowledge of metallo-protein diversity, bacterial virulence mechanisms, and membrane protein function with potential impact on health, environment, and biotechnology.

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) (2019)


Other Team Members

  • Prof Jennifer Martin - Chief Investigator
  • Dr BegoƱa Heras - Chief Investigator
  • A/Prof Makrina Totsika - Chief Investigator
  • Dr Roisin McMahon - Chief Investigator
  • Dr David Drew - Partner Investigator
  • Dr Karrera Djoko - Partner Investigator

Dr Makrina Totsika is examining bacterial pathogenesis