The Zeytuni Laboratory aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms associated with bacterial pathogenicity and to pave the way for targeted novel therapeutics. Our multidisciplinary approach combines cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography techniques, complemented by a wide array of in vitro biochemical methods and phenotypic analysis in vivo. We specialize in native membrane-protein production and membrane-mimetics systems.
Bacterial Secretion Systems
Bacterial secretion systems are essential membrane embedded protein machineries, enabling bacteria to obtain nutrients, communicate, protect against biological and chemical agents, as well as facilitate disease through the delivery of virulence factors. We focus our research efforts on the 'newest kid on the block' - the recently discovered Type-9 Secretion System (T9SS). Bacteria use the T9SS to support their gliding movement as well as a virulence machinery associated with human and farmed-fish diseases.
The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are diverse group of membrane proteins that import or export molecules across the cell membrane. In bacteria, these transporters are essential for nutrient uptake and the secretion of toxins and other antimicrobial agents. ABC transporters are also central to multidrug resistance in many pathogenic bacteria as well as cancer cells. Thus, ABC transporters are a compelling class of proteins, relevant for both medical research and basic membrane biology.