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General Biology Seminar

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Kerckhoff 119
Towards the Assembly of a Synthetic Bacterial Cell
Kumaran Ramamurthi, Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute,

Bacterial spores are dormant cell types produced by some Gram-positive bacteria to protect the cell's genetic material from a variety of environmental insults. Spores can remain dormant for several centuries and represent one of the hardiest life forms on earth. Spores of Bacillus subtilis are encased in a thick protein shell, the "coat", which participates in conferring the amazing resistance properties of spores. The basement layer of the coat contains a novel cytoskeletal protein that polymerizes irreversibly in an ATP hydrolysis-dependent manner. This protein is anchored to the surface of the developing spore by a small shape-sensing protein that preferentially embeds in convex membranes.  Recently, we have reconstructed the basement layer of the spore coat in vitro atop spherical lipid bilayers supported by small silica beads to create synthetic spore-like particles.  We have also covalently modified the surface of these particles and propose that they may be used as a versatile display platform for small molecules and proteins of interest.. Kumaran Ramamurthi

For more information, please contact Vincent Rivera by phone at X4952 or by email at [email protected].