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Mariana Gomes de Pinho Lab

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In the Bacterial Cell Biology laboratory we use the Gram positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to study the mechanisms of cell division and of antibiotic resistance to cell wall targeting antibiotics.

 

 

Mariana Gomes de Pinho
Professora associada
PhD in 2001, UNL

Phone (+351) 214469527 | Extension 1527
mgpinho@itqb.unl.pt

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Research Interests

Bacterial cells have revealed a surprising degree of organization. Many essential cellular processes are performed by higher order protein complexes, which are precisely regulated in time and space. We are interested in understanding the organization, as well as the temporal and spatial regulation, of the fundamental processes of cell division, cell wall synthesis and chromosome segregation.

We use Staphylococcus aureus as a model organism. S. aureus is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen and a major cause of antibiotic resistant infections. Besides its clinical relevance, S. aureus is also a very interesting model to study cell division because it has a different shape and mode of division from the traditional, widely used, model organisms Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. S. aureus cells are spherical and, more interestingly, divide in three consecutive perpendicular planes over three division cycles.

We use the information gained by studying fundamental processes in a bacterial pathogen to better understand antibiotic resistance mechanisms in S. aureus, as well as the mode of action of new antimicrobial compounds. We strongly believe that fundamental research on pathogens biology is essential for the development of innovative strategies against clinically relevant pathogens.

 

Group Members

  • Patricia Reed, Post Doc

  • Helena Veiga, Post Doc

  • Nathalie Reichmann, Pos Doc

  • Ambre Jousselin, Post Doc

  • Mário Ferreira, Post Doc

  • João Monteiro, PhD student

  • Raquel Pereira, PhD student

  • Pedro Fernandes, PhD student

  • Andreia Tavares, PhD student

  • Moritz Sorg, PhD student

  • Bruno Saraiva, researcher

  • Marta Sporniak, researcher

  • Margaux Limery, Master student

  • Vincent de Bakker, Master student

  • Lúcia Serra, Master student

 

Selected Publications

  1. FtsZ-Dependent Elongation of a Coccoid Bacterium.

    Pereira AR, Hsin J, Król E, Tavares AC, Flores P, Hoiczyk E, Ng N, Dajkovic A, Brun YV, VanNieuwenhze MS, Roemer T, Carballido-Lopez R, Scheffers DJ, Huang KC, Pinho MG
    MBio. 2016;7. pii: e00908-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00908-16.

  2. Cell shape dynamics during the staphylococcal cell cycle.
    Monteiro JM, Fernandes PB, Vaz F, Pereira AR, Tavares AC, Ferreira MT, Pereira PM, Veiga H, Kuru E, VanNieuwenhze MS, Brun YV, Filipe SR, Pinho MG.
    Nat Commun. 2015;6:8055. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9055.

  3. Staphylococcus aureus Survives with a Minimal Peptidoglycan Synthesis Machine but Sacrifices Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance.
    Reed P, Atilano ML, Alves R, Hoiczyk E, Sher X, Reichmann NT, Pereira PM, Roemer T, Filipe SR, Pereira-Leal JB, Ligoxygakis P, Pinho MG.
    PLoS Pathog. 2015;11(5):e1004891. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004891

     

Laboratory's Website

For further information please visit the laboratory's website

 

Biologia Celular Bacteriana (PT)

No laboratório de Biologia Celular Bacteriana do ITQB NOVA utilizamos a bactéria patogénica Staphylococcus aureus como organismo modelo para estudar o processo de divisão celular, ou seja, o processo pelo qual uma célula bacteriana dá origem a duas células “filhas” idênticas. Estamos principalmente interessados nos processos de segregação dos cromossomas para cada uma das células filhas e de síntese da parede celular que divide a célula mãe ao meio durante a divisão. Pretendemos identificar as maquinarias proteicas responsáveis por estes processos, bem como estudar a sua regulação no espaço e no tempo.

A divisão celular pode ser impedida pela acção de vários antibióticos. Uma vez que Staphylococcus aureus constitui uma das principais causas de infecções hospitalares resistentes a antibióticos, usamos o conhecimento obtido no estudo de processos bacterianos fundamentais para investigar mecanismos de resistência a antibióticos e modos de ação de novos compostos antibacterianos.

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