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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



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.


First Advisor

Alejano Heuck

Second Advisor

Lynmarie Thompson

Third Advisor

David Gross