Public Health Research Institute Center
New Jersey Medical School - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
225 Warren Street
Newark, New Jersey 07103
Phone: (973) 854-3400
Our lab is interested in global regulation, development and in genetic transformation. For this we study Bacillus subtilis, a model Gram-positive bacterium. Many bacteria take up environmental DNA in macromolecular form in a process known as transformation, which is believed to be responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. To take up DNA, cells must be in a physiological state called "competence." We investigate the process of DNA uptake as well as the regulation of the competent state and the process of emergence from competence during which cells resume growth, DNA replication and transcription. We are also interested in the regulation of spore development and in the control of biofilm formation. Recently we have identified a complex of three proteins that regulates sporulation, biofilms and competence. We are investigating the mechanism of action of this complex, which carries two iron-sulfur clusters and can bind FAD. Our approach is always to employ the use of genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to bring the maximum experimental power to bear on the questions at hand. We collaborate with number of other laboratories, including that of Mathew Neiditch, a structural biologist, here at New Jersey Medical School.
Competence is expressed bistably, in a minority of the cells in a culture. These cells are delayed in growth due to the presence of two proteins, ComGA and Maf. Here the non-competent cells (red) have grown and formed chains of daughter cells, whereas the competence expressing cells (cyan) have not yet resumed growth.
Tanner AW, Carabetta VJ, Martinie RJ, Mashruwala AA, Boyd JM, Krebs C, Dubnau D (2017) The RicAFT (YmcA-YlbF-YaaT) complex carries two [4Fe-4S]2+ clusters and may respond to redox changes. Mol Microbiol 104: 837-850. PMI: 28295778
Diethmaier C, Chawla R, Canzoneri A, Kearns DB, Lele PP, Dubnau D (2017) Viscous drag on the flagellum activates Bacillus subtilis entry into the K-state. Mol Microbiol. PMI: 28800172
Miras M, Dubnau D (2016) A DegU-P and DegQ-Dependent Regulatory Pathway for the K-state in Bacillus subtilis. Front Microbiol 7: 1868. PMI: 27920766
Dubnau EJ, Carabetta VJ, Tanner AW, Miras M, Diethmaier C, Dubnau D (2016) A protein complex supports the production of Spo0A-P and plays additional roles for biofilms and the K-state in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol 101: 606-624. PMI: 27501195
Carabetta VJ, Greco TM, Tanner AW, Cristea IM, Dubnau D (2016) Temporal Regulation of the Bacillus subtilis Acetylome and Evidence for a Role of MreB Acetylation in Cell Wall Growth. mSystems 1. PMI: 27376153
Hahn J, Tanner AW, Carabetta VJ, Cristea IM, Dubnau D (2015) ComGA-RelA interaction and persistence in the Bacillus subtilis K-state. Mol Microbiol 97: 454-471. PMI: 25899641