BBS Faculty Member - Sophie Helaine

Sophie Helaine

Assistant Professor of Microbiology

Harvard Medical School
Department of Microbiology, HIM 1034
4 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-7835
Email: Sophie_Helaine@hms.harvard.edu



* Salmonella persisters and their translational program during infection:
We recently found out that Salmonella persisters that are multidrug tolerant bacteria surviving during infection and antibiotherapy are not dormant, as previously assumed, but maintain activity that is essential for their survival. We will aim at understanding which proteins are made by these non-growing bacteria, using ribo-seq on a chip.

* Cross-regulation of Toxin-antitoxin systems in Salmonella:
Toxin-antitoxin systems lead to bacterial self-intoxication and growth arrest under stress conditions. They are exquisitely self-regulated but we recently obtained evidence that three of the 15 systems present in Salmonella are cross-regulated. This opens up the possibility of a network of regulation of those TA systems, potentially allowing a coordinated activation. 

* Toxin-antitoxin systems as anti-phage defence in Salmonella:
TA systems have been described to lead to growth arrest, formation of persisters, and as phage abortive systems. We are characterising their role in Salmonella persisters during infection and will now explore their potential role in phage resistance.

* Interference of Salmonella with its own translation machinery:
Salmonella expresses three tRNA acetylating toxins (TacTs) that support bacterial growth-arrest under stressful conditions. TacTs block translation through acetylation of aminoacyl-tRNAs. We aim at elucidating exactly how the translation machinery is affected.



Last Update: 12/12/2019



Publications

For a complete listing of publications click here.

 


 



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