Structural and Molecular Biology of Type IV Secretion Systems


The goal of this PhD is to trap a substrate into the Type IV secretion machine (T4SS) encoded by Gram-negative bacteria. Our model system will be the T4SS encoded by the F/R1 plasmid. This plasmid is a self-transmissible genetic element that encodes its own T4SS to mediate its transfer to other bacterial cells. For this PhD, the student will develop a system to trap the substrate into the T4SS machinery, the ultimate goal being to image this trapped machinery using Electron Microscopy techniques.


H.H. Low, F. Gubellini, A. Rivera-Calzada, N. Braun, S. Connery, A. Dugeancourt, F. Lu, A. Redzej, R. Fronzes*, E.V. Orlova*, and G. Waksman* (2014). Structure of a Type IV Secretion System. Nature. 508:550-553.


Chandran, R. Fronzes, S. Duquerroy, N. Cronin, J. Navaza, and G. Waksman* (2009). Crystal structure of the outer membrane complex of a type IV secretion system. Nature. Article. 462:1011-1015.


R. Fronzes, E. Schaefer, H. Saibil, E. Orlova and G. Waksman* (2009). Structure of type IV secretion core complex. Science. 323:266-268.


Ilangovan A, Connery S, Waksman G. (2015) Structural biology of the Gram-negative bacterial conjugation systems. Trends Microbiol. 2015 Mar 27. pii: S0966-842X(15)00053-0. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2015.02.012. [Epub ahead of print] Review.


M. Trokter, C. Felisberto-Rodrigues, P. Christie, and G. Waksman* (2014). Recent advances in the structural and molecular biology of Type IV secretion systems. Current Opinion in Structural Biology. 27:16-23.

Biological Areas:

Structural Biology


Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology