Interactions of cell division protein FtsZ with large and small molecules

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Abstract

Bacteria are one of the most important microorganisms in biotechnology and in our life. They play many good roles for humans, e.g. by breaking down food and producing certain vitamins and nutrients in the human gastrointestinal tract. However, a small number of bacteria, called pathogens, may also cause serious infections and diseases. These bacteria are extensively studied for centuries in order to better understand their internal mechanisms. The knowledge gained from these studies is used to search for weak points in bacteria, which can be targeted by popular drugs called antibiotics.
The weak points in bacteria are mechanisms that are essential for viability or normal function, and, when blocked, completely inactivate the whole bacterial organism. These mechanisms include among others: essential protein biosynthesis pathways, synthesis of the bacterial cell wall, and cell division, the mechanism that allows bacteria to proliferate.
In our work we tried to better understand the cell division process in two bacterial species, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. To this end we used essential protein FtsZ, which is the key player of cell division. In our work we studied FtsZ alone; in the presence of other proteins that directly interact with FtsZ; and in the presence of small molecules, which could potentially block FtsZ and bacterial cell division, thus act as antibacterial agents. The work described in my thesis enhances our knowledge of bacterial cell division and contributes to research in antibiotic development.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Scheffers, Dirk-Jan, Supervisor
  • Driessen, Arnold, Supervisor
Award date17-Jun-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8909-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8910-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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