Leslie Chung-Lei Sheu L&S Sciences
Regulation of macrophage phagosomal protein expression by Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall lipids
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), along with other infectious diseases, has become a resurgent global concern, in part due to selection for drug-resistant strains in infected populations. M.tb is able to survive within macrophages (innate immune cells that should engulf and degrade foreign material) in compartments known as phagosomes by some unknown mechanism. This summer, I want to use quantitative mass spectrometry to study how specific cell wall glycolipids of M.tb manipulate phagosomal membrane protein expression in macrophage cells. By comparing protein regulation by two structurally similar but functionally very different glycolipids found in virulent and non-virulent mycobacterial species (ManLAM and PILAM, respectively), I hope to gain insight into mechanisms that make M.tb one of the most successful bacterial pathogens.