Bacterial effector proteins
Effector proteins are secreted by bacteria directly into host cells to manipulate the cell and initiate or maintain an infection. Cellular process affected range from the cytoskeleton to the cell cycle.
Bacteria deliver effectors in a controlled and ordered fashion using complex molecular machines. These can be divided into several classes, the best studied are the Type III systems, but Type IV and VI are also common.
The secretion systems of some model pathogens such as Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli have been well-characterised, but effector discovery remains incomplete and laborious.
We have a high-throughput, screening approach to effector discovery, allowing us to rapidly search many hundreds of bacterial proteins to find interesting effector candidates.
Currently our work is focused upon gastrointestinal pathogens, but we are looking to expand our efforts to encompass other bacteria, including those without established genetic manipulation systems.