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Assembly of Bacterial Outer Membrane ProteinsPosted by: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Posted date: 2019-Mar-07
A post-doctoral position is available to investigate the assembly (folding and membrane integration) of bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs) in Gram-negative bacteria. While most proteins that integrate into biological membranes contain one or more α-helical membrane spanning segments, OMPs contain a folded “β barrel” structure that serves as a membrane anchor. Although a heterooligomer called the barrel assembly machinery (Bam) complex has been shown to catalyze the membrane insertion of OMPs, its mechanism of action is unknown. In recent studies we have been trying to elucidate the function of the Bam complex by examining the assembly of a variety of different OMPs including “autotransporters”, a superfamily of virulence factors produced by pathogenic bacteria that contain a large extracellular domain in addition to a b barrel domain. Autotransporters are of particular interest because the mechanism by which the extracellular domain is secreted is poorly understood. We are currently using a combination of biochemical, biophysical and genetic approaches in our experiments. Because the folding and localization of OMPs is essential for viability, our work may ultimately lead to strategies to develop new antibiotics.
For examples of our previous work on autotransporter/OMP assembly, please see Ieva, R. and Bernstein. H.D. (2009) PNAS 106: 19120-19125; Peterson, J.H., et al. (2010) PNAS 107: 17739-17744; Ieva, R. et al. (2011) PNAS 108: E383-E391; Pavlova, O. et al. (2013) PNAS 110: E938-E947; Roman-Hernandez, G. et al. (2014) eLife e04234; Sikdar, R., et al. (2017) Nat. Commun. 8:1309; Hussain, S. and Bernstein, H.D. (2018) J. Biol. Chem. 293: 2959-2973. Additional information can also be found at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/staff-directory/biography/bernstein-harris.
The position is located on the main campus of the NIH in Bethesda, MD.Qualifications:
Candidates should have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree (or anticipate receiving their degree in the near future) and experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology or a related field. Candidates should have less than 5 years of post-doctoral experience.To Apply:
Interested individuals should email their CV, a cover letter summarizing current and future research interests, and contact information for three references to:
Dr. Harris Bernstein
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