Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Embargo Period

9-8-2015

Degree Program

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Alejandro

Advisor Middle Initial

P

Advisor Last Name

Heuck

Co-advisor Name

Lynmarie

Co-advisor Last Name

Thompson

Third Advisor Name

David

Third Advisor Last Name

Gross

Abstract

The Type III Secretion (T3S) system is a system utilized by many pathogenic bacteria to inject proteins into host cells during an infection. Effector proteins enter the host cell by passing through the proteinaceous T3S translocon, which forms a pore on the host cell membrane. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that utilizes the T3S system, and very little is known about how the P. aeruginosa translocon forms.

The proteins PopB and PopD are believed to assemble into the P. aeruginosa translocon. A pore-forming heterocomplex of PopB and PopD has been reconstituted in model membranes, however this heterocomplex has not been assessed in its relation to the translocon formed on the host cell. The interaction of this heterocomplex with other T3S system components was measured to determine if this complex acts similarly to the translocon. Initial assays that can be used to compare the molecular weight of the translocon isolated from eukaryotic cells after P. aeruginosa contact to the calculated molecular weight of the heterocomplex were developed as well. This study provides insight into how the PopB:PopD heterocomplex formed in model membranes relates to the translocon formed during a P. aeruginosa infection.

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