The Pukatzki Lab
 @ The University of Alberta
Mission Statement:
We study the interaction between microbial pathogens and their hosts. To cause infections, bacteria use sophisticated strategies, some of which involve virulence factors that interact with cellular components and signaling pathways of host cells. Part of the allure of this area of research is that it not only allows us to observe a cat-and-mouse game of attack and response over evolutionary time, but it also permits us to identify novel drug targets for alternative therapies.

UPDATED March 22, 2015

Our working model for how the type VI secretion system works in Vibrio cholerae:

Vibrio bacteria attach to the host cell and become internalized. Bacteria divide inside VCV’s (vibrio-containing vesicles), and those bacteria close to the vesicular membrane puncture the membrane with their type VI secretion machines. Once the machines are properly docked via binding to actin, effectors are secreted into the cytoplasm.

© Pukatzki