Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Nicholas E. Dickenson


Nicholas E. Dickenson


Lisa M. Berreau


Joan M. Hevel


Several bacterial pathogens including Shigella (shigellosis), Escherichia coli (urinary tract infections), Pseudomonas (lung infections), Salmonella (food poisoning), and Yersinia (plague) critically rely on a complex type three secretion system (T3SS) for infection. With the rise in multi-antibiotic resistant strains of several of these pathogens, we turn to the T3SS as a promising target for the development of novel therapeutics. The Dickenson lab at Utah State University has been the first to identify and characterize the ATPase Spa47, the energy source of the Shigella infection system. We show that Spa47 is necessary for proper T3SS formation and function, being ultimately responsible for overall Shigella virulence. We find that proper ATPase function and in turn T3SS apparatus formation can be affected by something as simple as a single mutation to the removal of a non-catalytic domain. The insights gained from this work expands our understanding of the powerhouse that fuels these infection systems and brings us a step closer to developing novel therapeutics to combat infection.



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