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Title: Identification and characterisation of cell division proteins in Staphylococcus aureus
Author: Kabli, Azhar
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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Cell division is a vital process that is required for bacterial proliferation and is thus an important target for the development of new antimicrobial agents. Bacterial cell division has mainly been studied in rod-shaped microorganisms, where a complex macromolecular machine, termed the divisome, mediates the division process. Cell division requires the coordination of components from the cytoplasm, through the membrane, to the cell wall where synthesis of new peptidoglycan takes place. Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis divisomes involve multiple essential components, mostly of unknown function. Staphylococcus aureus is a coccus that divides by binary fission in three orthogonal planes. The cell division machinery of S. aureus has been initially mapped as it is a clinically significant pathogen that poses a serious threat to public health due to resistance to current antibiotics. Indeed, the search for new drug targets against S. aureus is crucial. In this study, S. aureus cell division components DivIC and FtsL were identified as members of a novel class of cell wall-binding proteins, and their affinity for the cell wall was shown to be enhanced by the presence of wall teichoic acids. A GFP fusion analysis and immunolocalisation experiments demonstrated that DivIC and FtsL may transiently localise to the division site and their localisation patterns suggest that they may identify previous or potential planes of division by recognising specific forms of peptidoglycan architecture. Attempts to determine the roles of divIC and ftsL in S. aureus using in-frame deletions and conditional lethal mutants of these genes were unsuccessful. Identifying the roles of DivIC and FtsL in S. aureus will enhance the utility of these proteins as putative antimicrobial targets.
Supervisor: Foster, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available