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Functional characterization of Chromobacterium violaceum lectins

Grant number: 20/07662-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:José Freire da Silva Neto
Grantee:Isadora Caroline Alves Ferreira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins present in all organisms that play a fundamental role in mechanisms of recognition and adhesion in pathogen-host relationships. The best-characterized bacterial lectins are those acting as adhesins anchored to the bacterial surface or acting as toxins. The role of bacterial soluble lectins is still poorly explored. In this work, we intend to study the role in vivo of two soluble lectins produced by the environmental pathogen bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum. Although the crystallographic structure and the glycan-binding activity of these two lectins have been determined in vitro, nothing is known about their role in the biology of C. violaceum in vivo. To unveil the functions of these two lectins, mutant and complemented strains will be generated, which will be characterized by several phenotypic tests in comparison with the wild-strain of C. violaceum. Adhesion tests on abiotic surfaces or in cultured cells will be performed to see if lectins play a role in biofilm formation and in host adhesion and colonization events. The role in pathogenesis will be evaluated by virulence assays in an animal model. The results obtained in this project will contribute to understand if lectins are important in the pathogenesis of C. violaceum, and should subsidize future bacterial anti-virulence strategies.

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