Structural biology and biophysics of toxin-antitoxin modules.

  • Garcia Pino, Abel, (Administrative Promotor)
  • Steyaert, Jan (Co-Promotor)

Project Details


A living cell, even a simple bacterium, is something extremely complex. Yet all life on earth uses essentially two types of molecules as their main components: proteins as little nanomachines that carry out structural, mechanical and catalytic tasks, and DNA as the information carrier, that lists which proteins need to be made and how to make them. Transcription factors regulate which and how many of the 4000 or so proteins that are required at a certain time, are produced. Their function involves the ability to sense the environmental and internal conditions of the cell in order to produce the adequate response to these conditions. It is next to impossible to study the molecular details of the complete regulatory network of a bacterium such s E. coli, but one can get quite a bit of understanding by studying the details of small isolated subnetworks. The present project employs the phd/doc toxin-antitoxin module from the bacteriophage PI as model system, which will be studied by a combination of structural biology and biophysical techniques. Our findings will contribute to the understanding of transcriptional regulation in general and provide new insights in how bacteria respond to changes in their environment.
Effective start/end date1/10/1030/09/16


  • Applied Biology

Flemish discipline codes

  • Systems biology