We study the protein machineries - the engulfasome - involved in early stages of spore formation in C. difficile
Spores are the metabolically dormant cells responsible for persistence in the environment and in the host, offering resistance to treatment, a vehicle of dissemination and increasing infectious potential. Knowledge of spore formation at the molecular level and an understanding of its role in C. difficile infection (CDI) is essential.
The process of engulfment of the future spore by the mother cell membrane involves several proteins – the engulfasome – and remodelling of the peptidoglycan (PG). We have identified the PG degrading enzymes SpoIID and SpoIIP (DP) as well as the putative channel SpoIIQ:SpoIIIAH (Q:AH) as essential for engulfment.
Current work focuses on further characterising these proteins and their interactions. We also aim to identify other proteins involved in the complex network required for engulfment and explore the therapeutic potential of the engulfasome.
Image by Marcin Dembek