Deciphering the nucleotide signalling network of the Gram-positive bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus


  • Prof Angelika Gründling

    Imperial College London

Project summary

Dr Gründling's main aim is to identify proteins and pathways regulated by the nucleotide c-di-AMP and to reveal the molecular bases for its requirement for bacterial growth. Nucleotides are important signalling molecules in all forms of life, and have important roles in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis, often through binding and controlling the function of a specific set of proteins. Current knowledge of their function remains rudimentary. Recent work by Dr Gründling’s team has revealed that c-di-AMP is required for the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and that this nucleotide has a role in the regulation of cell wall integrity in this organism. The plan is to investigate the function of c-di-AMP and additional nucleotides such as pApA, cAMP and ppGpp, with the aim to decipher the interconnections of nucleotide-controlled pathways. A deeper understanding of essential cellular processes in this S. aureus is of great importance, but it is anticipated that the findings will be applicable to a range of bacteria. Ultimately, this research has the potential to provide new targets for the development of alternative strategies to combat infections.