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) 854-3402
The soil organism Bacillus subtilis has the ability to take up DNA from its environment and, provided there is homology, recombine it into its genome. This process is called transformation. In order for the bacterium to be transformed it must be in a specific physiological state called competence. During the competent state specific proteins are synthesized which are required for the binding and transport of the DNA molecule into the competent cell. It has been found that as transformability increases many competence specific proteins localize to the poles of the rod shaped Bacillus subtilis bacterium and as transformability declines the competence proteins delocalize. These proteins colocalize and interact and seem to form a complex that helps internalize the DNA molecule, preferentially at the poles of the cell.
Jeanette Hahn’s focus is understanding how the polar localization and delocalization of the competence proteins occurs. Localization seems to occur via a diffusion and capture mechanism whereas delocalization is energy driven and involves degradation of an as yet unknown anchor protein(s). Elucidating the proteins and signals involved in this process is under investigation.
The late competence protein ComGA, which is required
for the binding and uptake of transforming DNA, localizes
to the poles of the competent cell. ComGA is fused to gfp.
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
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
Hahn J, Kramer N, Briley K, Jr., Dubnau D (2009) McsA and B mediate the delocalization of competence proteins from the cell poles of Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol 72: 202-215. PMI: 19226326
Kramer N, Hahn J, Dubnau D (2007) Multiple interactions among the competence proteins of Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol 65: 454-464. PMI: 17630974
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
Ph.D. New York University Medical School. 1982
M.Sc. New York University, 1977
B.Sc. The City University of New York, 1975
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 2006 – present. Senior Research Associate, Department of Molecular Genetics, Public Health Research Institute, 2000 – present. Research Associate, Department of Molecular Genetics, Public Health Research Institute, 1993 – 2000.