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Archive for May 11th, 2012


Richard Pickersgill from Queen Mary University of London will deliver a seminar on Monday 14th May at 13:00 in LT3 entitled “Structural insights into the bacterial type II secretion system “.

Richard’s work is an example of the contribution that structural biology can make to infection biology, food security and biotechnology. In particular, he will describe his latest results on the bacterial type II secretion system. Richard is an entertaining and lively speaker and his talks are always enjoyable.

The first part of the seminar is concerned with synthetic biology underpinning industrial biotechnology, the second with studies of a bacterial secretion system important in human disease and food security. Firstly, some highlights will be presented from recent work on carbohydrate active enzymes and enzymes of cobalamin biosynthesis. Remarkably, several of the cobalamin biosynthetic enzymes trap (and do not readily release) their products. Another way of trapping reactive and labile pathway intermediates is to enclose them and the enzymes of the pathway in a microcompartment (bioreactor) and I shall briefly describe work on bacterial microcompartment shell proteins. The second part of the seminar will look at the molecular basis of the interaction between the outer-membrane secretin and the lipoprotein pilotin essential for its correct assembly in the outer-membrane of several bacteria. These and other essential interactions will be discussed along with opportunities for halting the secretion system and preventing disease.

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