Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Microbiology, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay
INPEC node since 2019
Our lab wants to understand how microorganisms sense and transmit signaling information leading to cellular homeostasis. Molecular microbiology, structural biology and biochemistry of two component systems (TCS) is one of the main lines of research. Our group has contributed to uncovering the allosteric activation switch of HisKA_3 histidine kinases, as well as revealing relevant details of the signal transmission mechanism. Several TCSs from Leptospira (spirochetes that cause leptospirosis, a highly prevalent zoonosis in South America) are under investigation, to understand molecular pathogenesis mechanisms. Leptospira biology has led us to bacterial motility. Spirochetes possess singular flagella, confined within the periplasmic space. Using integrative structural biology approaches we are elucidating the structure of the flagellar assembly, uncovering novel swimming mechanisms that challenge the current bacterial locomotion paradigms.
Keywords: bacterial signaling, bacterial motility, allosteric regulation, protein phosphorylation