Project: CCVs: Coxiella-containing vacuoles and clathrin-coated vesicles
Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, creates a unique replicative niche by modifying the human lysosome. One key feature of this vacuole is the recruitment of clathrin heavy chain to the vacuole membrane. Recruitment of this protein is important for intracellular success of Coxiella and vacuole expansion, through facilitation of autophagosome-vacuole fusion. We have identified several bacterial virulence factors that are involved in commandeering clathrin machinery. This project will address whether this process also involves clathrin light chain and other key components of classical clathrin-mediated trafficking. Key methodologies will include microscopy, tissue culture and protein biochemistry.
The Newton group uses a range of molecular and cell biology approaches to investigate the host-pathogen interactions that occur during infection with intracellular bacterial pathogens. Studies are particularly focused on the causative agent of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, which uses a large cohort of novel effector proteins to convert the normally bactericidal lysosome into an efficient replicative niche. Understanding the function of these important effector proteins will shed light on both the pathogenesis of Coxiella and important human cellular processes.
Newton Group Current Projects
PhD/MPhil, Master of Biomedical Science, Honours