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Biochemistry Seminar: Damian Ekiert, "Architectures of lipid transport systems for the bacterial outer membrane"

Damian Ekiert, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Microbiology, Skirball Institute, NYU Langone School of Medicine, NY, "Architectures of lipid transport systems for the bacterial outer membrane"
When Oct 31, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where CUNY ASRC Main Auditorium
Contact Name
Contact Phone 212-650-8803
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ABSTRACT

The Ekiert lab uses structure-driven approaches to understand how microbes cause disease. In collaboration with the Bhabha lab, a major focus of our research is on the bacterial outer membrane, which plays a key role in resistance to antibiotics and immune evasion. Despite decades of research on the bacterial envelope, it is unknown how phospholipids are trafficked between the bacterial inner and outer membranes so the cell can grow. We recently discovered that members of the mammalian cell entry (MCE) protein family form structurally diverse hexameric rings and barrels, and that some of these proteins may form “bridges” or “pipes” between the inner and outer membrane to facilitate lipid transport. In order to better understand their function, we are working to determine high resolution structures MCE proteins and their associated multisubunit transport complexes. In parallel, we are using a variety of complementary approaches to probe to function of these transporters in live cells, and to biochemically reconstitute the lipid transport process in vitro. This work will advance our understanding of a fundamental yet poorly understood aspect and bacterial cell biology, and may open up avenues to the development of new antibiotics that target the essential process of outer membrane biogenesis.

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