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Structural characterization of an essential protein complex for bacterial cell wall formation

Grant number: 14/00570-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2014
Effective date (End): September 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Biochemistry of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Andrea Dessen de Souza e Silva
Grantee:Mayara Mayele Miyachiro
Supervisor: Andréa Dessen
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS), France  
Associated to the scholarship:13/02451-0 - Structural characterization of an essential protein complex in cell wall formation, BP.DD


The biosynthesis of bacterial cell wall has been studied for several decades to identify targets for the development of antibiotics. However, the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria has led to the need to discover and characterize new molecular targets. The synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major component of the bacterial cell wall, involves the participation of macromolecular complexes that include cytoplasmic, periplasmic and membrane proteins. The goal of this project is to carry out the structural characterization of the membrane protein MraY transferase, which is essential for peptidoglycan biosynthesis. The techniques that will be used include expression and purification of recombinant soluble and membrane proteins, crystallization, synchrotron data collection, and structure solution. The research group led by Andréa Dessen works in two research locations: at the National Laboratory of Biosciences (LNBio) in Campinas-Brazil (4 researchers), and at the Institut the Biologie Structurale in Grenoble-France (10 researchers). The Thematic Project entitled "Assembly and structure of macromolecular complexes involved in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and virulencel", financed by the FAPESP, is presently being developed in Campinas, where the student Mayara Mayele Miyachiro is performing most of her thesis work. However, due to the vast experience of the Grenoble group in expression, purification, and crystallization of membrane proteins, we believe that it will be extremely beneficial for the student to perform specific stages of her project in Grenoble.The results achieved will contribute to the characterization of a novel macromolecular target which may be used for the development of more efficient antibacterial agents. (AU)

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