BACTAD: Structure-function relationship in bacterial adhesins
In the project “Structure-function relationship in bacterial adhesins (BACTAD)”, we try to elucidate the structural basis for bacterial adhesion. The proteins of interest in this project (“adhesins”) are surface structures of various Gram-negative bacteria; many of these bacteria are pathogens. They bind to abiotic and living surfaces, including cells of their Eukaryotic hosts, which makes these proteins important virulence factors. We use molecular cloning techniques, but also x-ray crystallography and NMR to better understand the interactions of these adhesins with surfaces, hoping that one day, this knowledge can be used to block adhesion. This would open the way to the development of novel antimicrobial substances.