cdBMP - Time, space and speed: cdGMP signaling in cell behaviour and reproduction
Third-party funded project
Project title cdBMP - Time, space and speed: cdGMP signaling in cell behaviour and reproduction
Principal Investigator(s) Jenal, Urs
Project Members Kumar, Mohit
Lori, Christian
Lassak, Kerstin
Shyp, Viktoriya
von Arx, Christoph
Organisation / Research unit Departement Biozentrum / Growth & Development,
Departement Biozentrum / Infection Biology,
Departement Biozentrum / Molecular Microbiology (Jenal)
Project start 01.05.2013
Probable end 30.04.2018
Status Active

cdBMP- Time, space and speed: cdGMP signaling in cell behaviour and reproduction

Bacterial biofilms are the primary cause of chronic infections and of resulting infection relapses. To be able to interfere with bacterial persistence it is vital to understand the molecular details of biofilm formation and to define how motile planktonic cells transit into surface-grown communities. The nucleotide second messenger cyclic di-guanosinemonophosphate (cdGMP) has emerged as a central regulatory factor governing bacterial surface adaptation and biofilm formation. Although cdGMP signaling may well represent the Achilles heel of bacterial communities, cdGMP networks in bacterial pathogens are exquisitely complex and an integrated cellular system to uncover the details of cdGMP dynamics is missing.

To quantitatively describe cdGMP signaling we propose to exploit Caulobacter crescentus, an organism with a simple bimodal life-style that integrates the sessile-motile switch into its asymmetric division cycle. We aim to: 1) identify the role and regulation of all diguanylate cyclases and phosphodiesterases that contribute to the asymmetric cellular program with the goal to model the temporal and spatial distribution of cdGMP during development; 2) identify and characterize cdGMP effectors, their downstream targets and cellular pathways; 3) elucidate how cdGMP coordinates cell differentiation with cell growth and propagation; 4) unravel the role of cdGMP as an allosteric regulator in mechanosensation and in rapid adaptation of bacteria to growth on surfaces; 5) develop novel tools to quantitatively describe cdGMP network dynamics, as the basis for mathematical modeling that provides the predictive power to experimentally test and refine important network parameters. We propose a multidisciplinary research program at the forefront of bacterial signal transduction that will provide the molecular and conceptual framework for a rapidly growing research field of second messenger signaling in pathogenic bacteria.

Financed by Commission of the European Union

Cooperations ()

  ID Kreditinhaber Kooperationspartner Institution Laufzeit - von Laufzeit - bis
2291812  Jenal, Urs  Schirmer, Tilman  Biozentrum - University of basel  01.05.2013  30.04.2018 
2291815  Jenal, Urs  Howard, Martin, Prof.  John Innes Centre, Norwich   01.05.2013  30.04.2018 
2291819  Jenal, Urs  Grzesiek, Stephan, Prof.  Biozentrum - University of Basel  01.05.2013  30.04.2018 
2291821  Jenal, Urs  Zavolan, Michaela, Prof.  Biozentrum - University of Basel  01.05.2013  30.04.2018 
2291822  Jenal, Urs  Vogel, Jörg, Prof.  University of Würzburg  01.05.2013  30.04.2018 
404904  Jenal, Urs  Pfohl, Thomas, Professor  Physical Chemistry University of Basel  01.01.2014  31.12.2017 
2291844  Jenal, Urs  Roth, Volker, Prof.  Biozentrum - University of Basel  01.01.2010  31.12.2016 
2291847  Jenal, Urs  Kaever, Volkhard, Prof.   Medizinische Hochschule Hannover  01.05.2013  30.04.2018 

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