BBS Faculty Member - Marcia Goldberg

Marcia Goldberg

Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology

University Park
Bacterial Pathogenesis Laboratories
65 Landsdowne Street, Room 423
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617-768-8740; Lab: 617-768-8741
Fax: 617-768-8738
Lab Members: 2 postdoctoral fellows, 2 graduate students, 2 undergraduates
Visit my lab page here.

Our lab focuses on the molecular nature of interactions between microbial pathogens and the host. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved complex mechanisms to subvert host cell signaling pathways to enhance disease processes. Our work focuses on uncovering the molecular signaling events that occur during bacterial infection of host cells. The bacterial pathogen Shigella, a major cause of illness and mortality among children worldwide, infects cells of the intestinal epithelium and uses cellular actin cytoskeletal and other pathways to disseminate through host tissue. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms by which secreted bacterial proteins modulate host proteins to divert the host signaling pathways involved in these processes. Our approaches include both genome-wide screening and targeted investigations.

We have discovered that bacterial proteins delivered into host cells by
Shigella modulate pathways involved in human cancers. We are defining how this occurs, with the long-term goal of applying insights gained in these investigations to the development of new cancer therapeutics.

Inside the host cell cytoplasm,
Shigella polymerizes host cell actin into a propulsive tail at one end of the bacterial body. Assembly of this tail generates the force to propel the bacterium to the cell periphery. A remarkable characteristic of the Shigella actin assembly protein (IcsA) is its localization to the old pole of the bacterium. Secretion of proteins and their precise spatial positioning is key to many cellular functions in prokaryotes; however, as yet, the basic mechanisms that mediate this positioning remain largely unknown. A second major focus of our research is to characterize the molecular mechanisms of secretion and spatial positioning of proteins in bacteria.

Last Update: 7/7/2014


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Baxt LA, Goldberg MB. Host and bacterial proteins that repress recruitment of LC3 to Shigella early during infection. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94653. PMCID: PMC3983221

Li Z, Boyd D, Reindl M,
Goldberg MB. Identification of YidC residues that define interactions with the Sec apparatus. J Bacteriol. 2014; 196:367-377. PMCID: PMC3911256

Fixen KR, Janakiraman A, Garrity S, Slade DJ, Gray AN, Karahan N, Hochschild A,
Goldberg MB. A genetic reporter system for positioning of proteins at the bacterial pole. mBio. 2012; 3(2): pii: e00251-11 doi: 10.1128/mBio.00238-11. PMCID: PMC3302567

Leung Y, Ally S,
Goldberg MB. Bacterial actin assembly requires Toca-1 to relieve N-WASP autoinhibition. Cell Host Microbe. 2008; 3:39-47. PMCID: PMC2234351

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