Xu, Shengjuan

Doctor of Philosophy
Rachel Fernandez
Studying the secretion of autotransporter, a family of Gram-negative surface proteins that represents a large class of virulence factors
Autotransporters are a super family of proteins from Gram-negative bacteria, composed of a signal peptide, a passenger domain that usually attains a beta-helix structure, and a beta-barrel domain that plays a significant role in translocation of the passenger domain to the cell surface. Bordetella autotransporter BapF is predicted to have a lipobox in its signal peptide, and to have a passenger domain of beta-propeller conformation. We will use BapF as a model to investigate lipid-modified autotransporter as well as non-beta-helix autotransporter secretion.
I hope to understand how this specific lipid-modified and non-beta-helix autotransporter BapF is secreted and to contribute to the field of autotransporter studies.

I have always been interested in microbiology, how the micro-organisms cause disease, how they interact with each other and with their host cells. Graduate studies give me an opportunity and freedom to learn and research on the projects I am interested.