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Title page for ETD etd-02232017-114830

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Guckes, Kirsten Raquel
URN etd-02232017-114830
Title Investigating QseBC and PmrAB two-component system cross-interactions
Degree PhD
Department Microbiology and Immunology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Eric Skaar Committee Chair
Jonathan Irish Committee Member
Maria Hadjifrangiskou Committee Member
Oscar Gomez Committee Member
Thomas Stricker Committee Member
  • Bacteria
  • Two-component System
  • Uropathogenic E. coli
  • Gene regulation
Date of Defense 2017-02-02
Availability unrestricted
Bacteria use two-component system (TCS) signaling to sense and respond to their ever-changing surroundings. While most TCSs have been reported to interact solely as a cognate partner pair, one sensor kinase phosphorylating and dephosphorylating one response regulator, interactions between two-component systems grant uropathogenic E. coli the ability to finely calibrate responses to fluctuating environmental cues. Specifically, the QseBC and PmrAB two-component systems interact at both the post-translational, as well as the transcriptional level, to mediate a response to the signal ferric iron. The PmrB sensor kinase is able to phosphorylate its cognate regulator, PmrA, and non-cognate partner, QseB, in response to a ferric iron signal. Subsequent to ferric iron-mediated phosphorylation, both PmrA and QseB coordinate to regulate genes that allow the bacteria to become more tolerant to the antibiotic polymyxin B. Not only do QseBC-PmrAB interactions drive important antibiotic tolerance mechanisms, but they also provide a platform to investigate a phenomenon largely unobserved in TCS biology.
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