Infection Biology of Salmonella

During hot summer months, Salmonella frequently dominates the headlines with reports of infections caused by contaminated ice cream or egg dishes. The aggressive and quick bacteria rapidly infect a large number of people. However, our understanding of the mechanisms that Salmonella uses to infect us is fragmentary at best. In HZI’s Department of Molecular Infection Biology, the junior research group Infection Biology of Salmonella is studying the bacterium’s attack tactics – in order to use this information to develop new strategies in the ongoing fight against enteropathogenic bacteria.


Selected Publications

Paul K*, Erhardt M*, Hirano T, Blair DF, Hughes KT (2008) Energy source of flagellar type III secretion. Nature 451: (7177) 489–92 

Erhardt M, Hirano T, Su Y, Paul K, Wee DH, Mizuno S, Aizawa SI, Hughes KT (2010) The role of the FliK molecular ruler in hook-length control in Salmonella enterica. Molecular Microbiology 75: (5) 1272–84

Erhardt M, Hughes KT. C-ring requirement in flagellar type III secretion is bypassed by FlhDC upregulation (2010) Molecular Microbiology 75: (2) 376–93 

Erhardt M, Singer HM, Wee DH, Keener JP, Hughes K (2011) An infrequent molecular ruler controls flagellar hook length in Salmonella enterica. EMBO Journal 30: 2948–61 


G. Paradis, F. F. V. Chevance, W. Liou, T. T. Renault, K. T. Hughes, S. Rainville, M. Erhardt. Variability in bacterial flagella re-growth patterns after breakage. Scientific Reports (2017) in press

J. Horstmann, E. Zschieschang, T. Truschel, J. de Diego, M. Lunelli, M. Rohde, T. May, T. Strowig, T. Stradal, M. Kolbe, M. Erhardt. Flagellin phase-dependent swimming on epithelial cell surfaces contributes to productive Salmonella gut colonization. Cellular Microbiology (2017) 10.1111/cmi.12739

T. T. Renault, A. O. Abraham, T. Bergmiller, G. Paradis, S. Rainville, E. Charpentier, C. C. Guet, Y. Tu, K. Namba, J. P. Keener, T. Minamino, M. Erhardt. Bacterial flagella grow through an injection-diffusion mechanism. eLife (2017) 10.7554/eLife.23136

M. Erhardt, P. Wheatley, E. A. Kim, T. Hirano, Y. Zhang, M. K. Sarkar, K. T. Hughes, D. F. Blair. Mechanism of type-III protein secretion: Regulation of FlhA conformation by a functionally critical charged-residue cluster. Molecular Microbiology (2017) 10.1111/mmi.13623

Felgner S., Frahm M., Kocijancic D., Rohde M., Eckweiler D., Bielecka A., Bueno E., Cava F., Abraham W.-R., Curtiss III R., Häussler S., Erhardt M., Weiss S. (2016) AroA deficient Salmonella Typhimurium is more than a metabolically attenuated mutant. mBio. vol. 7 no. 5 e01220-16

Barlag B., Beutel O., Janning D., Czarniak F., Richter C. P., Kurre R., Fabiani F., Erhardt M., Piehler J., Hensel M. (2016) Single molecule super-resolution imaging of proteins in living Salmonella enterica using self-labeling enzymes. Scientific Reports. vol. 6 p.31601 

Kühne C., Singer H. M., Grabisch E., Codutti L., Carlomagno T., Scrima A., Erhardt M. (2016) RflM mediates target specificity of the RcsCDB phosphorelay system for transcriptional repression of flagellar synthesis in Salmonella enterica. Molecular Microbiology. vol. 101 841–855

Felgner, S., Kocijancic D., Frahm M., Curtiss III R., Erhardt M., Weiss S. (2016) Optimizing Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium for Bacteria-mediated Tumor Therapy. Gut Microbes. doi:10.1080/19490976.2016.1155021

Deditius, J. A., Felgner S., Spöring I., Kühne C., Frahm M., Rohde M., Weiss S., Erhardt M. (2015) Characterization of Novel Factors Involved in Swimming and Swarming Motility in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium. PLoS ONE 10, e0135351.

Frahm, M., Felgner, S., Kocijancic D., Rohde M., Hensel M., Curtiss III R., Erhardt M., Weiss S. (2015). Efficiency of Conditionally Attenuated Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium in Bacterium-Mediated Tumor Therapy. MBio 6.

Hendrix, R. W., Ko C.-C., Jacobs-Sera D., Hatfull G. F., Kropinski A. M., Denyes J. M., Erhardt M., Hughes K. T., Casjens S. R. (2015) Genome Sequence of Salmonella Phage χ. Genome Announc 3.

Erhardt, M. & Dersch, P. (2015) Regulatory principles governing Salmonella and Yersinia virulence. Front Microbiol. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00949

Erhardt, M., Mertens, M. E., Fabiani, F. D. & Hughes, K. T. ATPase-Independent Type-III Protein Secretion in Salmonella enterica. PLoS Genet 10, e1004800 (2014).

Singer, H. M. & Erhardt, M. Regulation, Aufbau und Funktion einer bakteriellen Nanomaschine. Biospektrum 20, 500–502 (2014).

Singer, H. M., Erhardt, M. & Hughes, K. T. Comparative analysis of the secretion capability of early and late flagellar type III secretion substrates. Mol Microbiol 93, 505–520 (2014).

Singer, H. M., Kühne, C., Deditius, J. A., Hughes, K. T. & Erhardt, M. The Salmonella Spi1 Virulence Regulatory Protein HilD Directly Activates Transcription of the Flagellar Master Operon flhDC. J Bacteriol 196, 1448–1457 (2014).

Singer, H. M., Erhardt, M. & Hughes, K. T. RflM functions as a transcriptional repressor in the autogenous control of the Salmonella flagellar master operon flhDC. J Bacteriol 195, 4274–4282 (2013).

Takaya A, Erhardt M, Karata K, Winterberg K, Yamamoto T, Hughes KTH; (2012). YdiV: a dual function protein that targets FlhDC for ClpXP-dependent degradation by promoting release of DNA-bound FlhDC complex. Mol Microbiol 83, 1268–1284. PubMed

Singer HM, Erhardt M, Steiner AM, Zhang M-M, Yoshikami D, Bulaj G, Olivera BM, and Hughes KT; (2012). Selective Purification of Recombinant Neuroactive Peptides Using the Flagellar Type III Secretion System. MBio 3, 10.1128/mBio.00115-12. PubMed

Erhardt M, Singer HM, Wee DH, Keener JP, Hughes KT; (2011). An infrequent molecular ruler controls flagellar hook length in Salmonella enterica. The EMBO Journal 30, 2948–2961. PubMed

Hughes KT, Erhardt M; (2011) Bacterial Flagella. eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. doi:10.1002/9780470015902.

Erhardt M, Hirano T, Su Y, Paul K, Wee DH, Mizuno S, Aizawa S-I, Hughes KT; (2010). The role of the FliK molecular ruler in hook-length control in Salmonella enterica. Mol Microbiol 75, 1272–1284. PubMed

Erhardt M, Hughes KT; (2010). C-ring requirement in flagellar type III secretion is bypassed by FlhDC upregulation. Mol Microbiol 75, 376–393. PubMed

Erhardt M, Namba K, Hughes KT; (2010). Bacterial nanomachines: the flagellum and type III injectisome. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2, a000299. PubMed

Paul K, Erhardt M, Hirano T, Blair DF, Hughes KT; (2008). Energy source of flagellar type III secretion. Nature 451, 489–492. PubMed

Koplin A, Preissler S, Ilina Y, Koch M, Scior A, Erhardt M, Deuerling E; (2010). A dual function for chaperones SSB-RAC and the NAC nascent polypeptide-associated complex on ribosomes. J Cell Biol 189, 57–68. PubMed

Erhardt M, Wegrzyn R, Deuerling E; (2010). Extra N-Terminal Residues Have a Profound Effect on the Aggregation Properties of the Potential Yeast Prion Protein Mca1. PLoS ONE 5, e9929 EP. PubMed

Chevance FFV, Erhardt M, Lengsfeld C, Lee S-J, Boos W (2006). Mlc of Thermus thermophilus: a glucose-specific regulator for a glucose/mannose ABC transporter in the absence of the phosphotransferase system. J Bacteriol 188, 6561–6571. PubMed


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  • Gefährliche Spritzen – Salmonellen infizieren uns mit molekularen NadelnSalmonellen leben und töten überall auf der Welt. Mehrere Hundert Millionen Kranke gehen jährlich weltweit auf ihr Konto.Die Strategien mit denen sie sich unseren Behandlungsversuchen entziehen, werden immer raffinierter, die Resistenzen gegen Antibiotika immer mehr. Marc Erhardt geht auf der Suche nach neuen Therapieansätzen einen ungewöhnlichen Weg: Er untersucht das Spritzbesteck, mit dem Salmonellen uns infizieren und er sucht nach Ansätzen, die die Bakterien nicht töten – und damit Resistenzen provozieren –, sondern nur ihre Spritze verstopfen. Begleiten Sie Marc Erhardt in sein Labor…
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