Structural Biology of Bacterial Secretion - Rémi FRONZES

Activities of the group

Bacteria are able to adapt quickly to changes in their environment. They use horizontal gene transfer (HGT) systems to exchange genes. In particular, this process is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes among pathogenic bacteria. Three mechanisms are involved in HGT in bacteria: Transformation conjugation and transduction. The molecular architecture of the membrane protein complexes involved in conjugation and transformation is poorly understood. We use high-resolution electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography to unveil the assembly and structure of these complexes.



 
DNA transfer system involved in natural transformation in Gram-positive bacteria

  Visualization of the bacterial type IV secretion core complex using high-resolution electron microscopy

 
 Structure of the bacterial type IV secretion core complex at 15 A resolution (obtained after image processing)



     
 High-resolution structure of the bacterial type IV secretion outer membrane complex obtained by X-ray crystallography



The three most significant  publications
1. Chandran V*., Fronzes R.* , Duquerroy S., Cronin N., Navaza J., Waksman G. *share equal contribution Crystal structure of the outer membrane complex of a type IV secretion system Nature. 2009 Dec 24;462(7276):1011-1015. Epub 2009 Nov 29.

2. Fronzes R., Christie P.J. and Waksman G. The structural biology of type IV secretion systems. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Oct;7(10):703-714.

3. Fronzes R., Schäfer E., Wang L., Saibil H., Orlova E. and Waksman G. Structure of a type IV secretion system core complex. Science. 2009 Jan 9;323(5911):266-268.