|Nanette Fulcher, PhD, Research Associate|
Nanette Fulcher, PhD, is a Research Associate in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Wolfgang.
The main goal of my research has been to understand the mechanism(s) by which P. aeruginosa couples environmental sensing to virulence gene expression and my work has focused on factors that regulate cAMP synthesis.
In one approach, I conducted a screen to identify gene products affecting activity of CyaB, the major P. aeruginosa adenylate cyclase. I discovered that CyaB activity is controlled by a chemotaxis-like chemosensing (Chp) signal transduction system that was previously implicated in regulating type IV pili (TFP). This finding defines a novel function for a chemotaxis-like system in controlling cAMP production and establishes a regulatory link between the Chp system and cAMP-dependent virulence systems. Future studies will involve determining whether the mechanism by which the Chp system regulates CyaB is direct or indirect.
I have also conducted structure/function analyses of CyaB to determine how enzymatic activity is controlled by specific environmental signals. We investigated membrane localization of CyaB since this property is likely to be important for signal detection and may facilitate the interaction of CyaB with components of the Chp and/or TFP biogenesis systems. I showed that the predicted N-terminal membrane-spanning domain (MASE2) of CyaB is required for localization of the enzyme to the inner membrane of P. aeruginosa. In addition, I determined the MASE2 domain also controls catalytic activity, suggesting that this domain has a role in promoting CyaB catalytic domain dimerization and/or in relaying signals that stimulate catalytic activity.
Please see Pubmed feed in the righthand column for links to current publications.
Contact Information4029 Thurston-Bowles Bldg.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box # 7248
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone: (919) 966-5333