Deciphering the role of phagosomal ubiquitylation in innate immunity


  • Prof Matthias Trost

    Newcastle University

Project summary

In the human body, immune cells kill invading microbes by 'eating' them in a process called phagocytosis. After uptake, the microbes are stored in a specialised compartment called the phagosome where they are normally killed and broken down. Some bacteria, however, such as tuberculosis-inducing Mycobacteria, have evolved to survive in the phagosome. Immune cells have receptor proteins that help identify the cargo they have just phagocytosed. They use a protein modification called ubiquitylation to signal this information and initiate the appropriate immune response. 

We will identify how ubiquitylation changes the activity and signalling from the phagosome and how this process helps to regulate the destruction of microbes and alerts the immune system.

Our research will improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms of infection which is particularly important at a time when many bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics.