Research Projects (Third party funds)



S. aureus and autophagy

The interplay between autophagy and S. aureus infection

Autophagy is a catabolic mechanism that is important for many biological processes such as cell homeostasis, development and immunity. On the molecular level, autophagy is executed by so-called AuTophaGy-related (ATG) proteins. Recently, we showed that infection with Staphylococcus aureus induces selective autophagy. Intracellular S. aureus gets associated with ubiquitin and recruited via autophagy receptors such as SQSTM1/p62 into autophagosomes. However, S. aureus evades autophagic degradation by activating p38 MAPK, degradation of the autophagosomal membranes and escape into the cytoplasm. We believe that this is an important mechanism how S. aureus can persist in the host. Combining innate immunology, cellular microbiology, genomics and proteomics we will identify and characterize the virulence factors that help S. aureus to evade autophagy as well as the autophagy components that are targeted by the bacteria.

Funding agency

DFG - German Research Foundation

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