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Scientific Overview Research Interest Summary Principal Investigators    Yuri Bushkin, Ph.D.
   Theresa Chang, Ph.D.
   Neeraj Chauhan, Ph.D.
   Véronique Dartois, Ph.D.
   Thomas Dick, Ph.D.
   Karl Drlica, Ph.D.
   David Dubnau, Ph.D.
   Eliseo A. Eugenin, Ph.D.
   Marila Gennaro, M.D.
   Fred Kramer, Ph.D.
   Barry Kreiswirth, Ph.D.
   Min Lu, Ph.D.
   Leonard Mindich, Ph.D.
   Arkady Mustaev, Ph.D.
   Jyothi Nagajyothi, Ph.D.
   David Perlin, Ph.D.
   Abraham Pinter, Ph.D.
   Marcela Rodriguez, Ph.D.
   Jeanne Salje, Ph.D.
   Lanbo Shi, Ph.D.
   Selvakumar Subbian, Ph.D.
   Sanjay Tyagi, Ph.D.
   Christopher Vinnard, M.D.
   Chaoyang Xue, Ph.D.
   Xilin Zhao, Ph.D.

   Research Faculty
   Liang Chen, Ph.D.
   Eugenie Dubnau, Ph.D.
   Jeanette Hahn, Ph.D.
   Salvatore Marras, Ph.D.
   Yanan Zhao, Ph.D.

Emeritus Faculty Recent Publications
David Dubnau, Ph.D.

Research Summary  |  Selected Publications  |  

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
e-mail: dubnauda@njms.rutgers.edu

Research Summary

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.

Selected Publications

Tanner AW, Carabetta VJ, Dubnau D (2018) ClpC and MecA, components of a proteolytic machine, prevent Spo0A-P-dependent transcription without degradation. Mol Microbiol. PMI: 29446505

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

Carabetta VJ, Tanner AW, Greco TM, Defrancesco M, Cristea IM, Dubnau D (2013) A complex of YlbF, YmcA and YaaT regulates sporulation, competence and biofilm formation by accelerating the phosphorylation of Spo0A. Mol Microbiol 88: 283-300. PMI: 23490197

Mirouze N, Desai Y, Raj A, Dubnau D (2012) Spo0A~P imposes a temporal gate for the bimodal expression of competence in Bacillus subtilis. PLoS Genet 8: e1002586. PMI: 22412392

Mirouze N, Prepiak P, Dubnau D (2011) Fluctuations in spo0A transcription control rare developmental transitions in Bacillus subtilis. PLoS Genet 7: e1002048. PMI: 21552330

Briley K, Jr., Prepiak P, Dias MJ, Hahn J, Dubnau D (2011) Maf acts downstream of ComGA to arrest cell division in competent cells of B. subtilis. Mol Microbiol 81: 23-39. PMI: 21564336

Briley K, Jr., Dorsey-Oresto A, Prepiak P, Dias MJ, Mann JM, Dubnau D (2011) The secretion ATPase ComGA is required for the binding and transport of transforming DNA. Mol Microbiol 81: 818-830. PMI: 21707789

Prepiak P, Dubnau D (2007) A peptide signal for adapter protein-mediated degradation by the AAA+ protease ClpCP. Mol Cell 26: 639-647. PMI: 17560370

Maamar H, Raj A, Dubnau D (2007) Noise in gene expression determines cell fate in Bacillus subtilis. Science 317: 526-529. PMI: 17569828

Maamar H, Dubnau D (2005) Bistability in the Bacillus subtilis K-state (competence) system requires a positive feedback loop. Mol Microbiol 56: 615-624. PMI: 15819619

Hahn J, Maier B, Haijema BJ, Sheetz M, Dubnau D (2005) Transformation proteins and DNA uptake localize to the cell poles in Bacillus subtilis. Cell 122: 59-71. PMI: 16009133

Draskovic I, Dubnau D (2005) Biogenesis of a putative channel protein, ComEC, required for DNA uptake: membrane topology, oligomerization and formation of disulphide bonds. Mol Microbiol 55: 881-896. PMI: 15661011

Albano M, Smits WK, Ho LT, Kraigher B, Mandic-Mulec I, Kuipers OP, Dubnau D (2005) The Rok protein of Bacillus subtilis represses genes for cell surface and extracellular functions. J Bacteriol 187: 2010-2019. PMI: 15743949

Turgay K, Hahn J, Burghoorn J, Dubnau D (1998) Competence in Bacillus subtilis is controlled by regulated proteolysis of a transcription factor. EMBO J 17: 6730-6738. PMI: 9890793

Narayanan CS, Dubnau D (1987) An in vitro study of the translational attenuation model of ermC regulation. J Biol Chem 262: 1756-1765. PMI: 3027098

Dubnau D (1985) Induction of ermC requires translation of the leader peptide. EMBO J 4: 533-537. PMI: 4018035

Hahn J, Grandi G, Gryczan TJ, Dubnau D (1982) Translational attenuation of ermC: a deletion analysis. Mol Gen Genet 186: 204-216. PMI: 6810064

Shivakumar AG, Dubnau D (1981) Characterization of a plasmid-specified ribosome methylase associated with macrolide resistance. Nucleic Acids Res 9: 2549-2562. PMI: 6792593

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