Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes und Medizinische Fakultät der Universität des Saarlandes
Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene
Leitung: Prof. Dr. Dr. Sören Becker
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Staphylococcus Project

Research topics

The extracellular adhesion protein (Eap) and the skin: Pathogenic insights and ensuing strategies for prevention and treatment of cutaneous infections


S. aureus is a major human pathogen and a common cause for superficial and deep seated wound infections. The pathogen is equipped with a large arsenal of virulence factors, which facilitate attachment to various eukaryotic cell structures and modulate the host immune response. One of these factors is the extracellular adherence protein Eap, a member of the “secretable expanded repertoireadhesive molecules” (SERAM) protein family that possesses adhesive and immune modulatory properties. We have previously shown that Eap delays wound healing by interfering with host defense and neovascularization. More recent work identified another antagonistic mechanism of Eap in wound healing, whereby the bacterial protein interferes with keratinocyte migration and proliferation. The pictures show the influence of Eap on HaCaT motility of individual cells (image by J. Eisenbeis and C. Backes).

Currently, functional activities of Eap and Eap analogues in acute and chronic skin wounds are studied. We hope that our approach allows unraveling Eap-based therapeutic targets essential for wound healing, skin colonization, and chronic inflammatory skin disease.

For further information, please contact M. Bischoff.




Regulation of carbon metabolism in staphylococci: The impact of catabolite control protein A and related factors on pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus


Carbon catabolite repression (CCR) is a common mechanism utilized by pathogenic bacteria to link central metabolism with virulence factor synthesis. In S. aureus, this linkage is mediated via a number of regulatory molecules such as the catabolite control proteins A and E (CcpA and CcpE), and the RpiR homologs RpiRb and RpiRc. Our recent work demonstrated that the deletion of these regulators affected carbon metabolism, virulence determinant production, and infectivity of S. aureus. Ongoing work is dedicated to the identification of regulatory elements that modulate the activities of these regulators, and the transcriptomes that are controlled by these carbon catabolite responsive elements. The cartoon illustrates the proposed functions of the histidine-containing phosphocarrier protein HPr on CcpA activity and glucose import in S. aureus (cartoon by M. Bischoff).

This work will yield detailed insights into metabolic processes that are effective within S. aureus and its host during invasion and persistence, and into regulatory circuits that link carbon metabolism and virulence in this pathogen.

For further information, please contact M. Bischoff.




Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene
Universität des Saarlandes
Kirrberger Straße 100, Geb. 43
D-66424 Homburg/Saar
Fon: (+49) 6841 16-23963
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E-Mail: mikrobiologie@uks.eu



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