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Rebecca Corrigan

Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Nucleotide signalling pathways control essential functions in Gram positive bacteria.

Nucleotide signalling molecules contribute to the regulation of cellular pathways in all forms of life. In recent years, the discovery of new signalling molecules, as well as a renewed appreciation for previously identified alarmones, has brought insights into the central metabolic processes that are controlled by these molecules. Our recent work has used both biochemical methods and the development of a genome-wide screen to identify receptor proteins for two such nucleotides, c-di-AMP and ppGpp. Here, I will provide an overview of the synthesis and regulation of the enzymes involved in synthesising these nucleotides in the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. I will also discuss newly identified receptor proteins and the cellular pathways that are controlled by these small nucleotides, which include ion transport, ribosomal maturation, growth and tolerance to antimicrobials.

Dr Rebecca Corrigan’s research involves an in-depth characterisation of nucleotide signalling systems in the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The current focus of the lab is on utilising a genome-wide approach, in conjunction with biochemical assays, to identify binding targets for the stringent response nucleotides (p)ppGpp in S. aureus in order to precisely map how these nucleotides function in a bacterial cell.