Bacteria have successfully colonized hostile environments by evolving stress response mechanisms, allowing them to sense and adapt to adverse conditions. In E. coli, the Psp (phage-shock protein) system is induced by a wide range of membrane stresses. The conservation of one of the protein of the system, PspA, across the three domains of life suggests it has a pivotal role in preserving membrane integrity.
The focus of my PhD project is to elucidate the mechanism of action of PspA by understanding its behaviour in vivo and its interactions with other proteins under stress.
Supervisor: Prof Conrad Mullineaux