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Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins and Infectious Diseases: Computational and Biochemical Analyses

Victoria Hritonenko


The paper applies modern computational and biochemical techniques to study bacterial outer membrane proteins, OmpT and Pla, important for infection establishment. It provides a summary of infectious bacteria and diseases they cause. Computational tools and their applications are discussed. Next, biochemical methods are used to analyze the functions of protein OmpT. It is shown that OmpT is responsible for about 24% of proteolytic activity in the outer bacterial membrane. This activity contributes to the bacterial resistance against human defense mechanisms. ELISA-based experiments demonstrate that the purified OmpT weakly adheres to the purified laminin and fibronectin, two extracellular proteins that commonly coat human cells. Therefore, OmpT can mediate bacterial binding to human cells to establish an infection. Computational technologies enable the identification of the proteins similar to OmpT and expand our understanding of the role of outer bacterial proteins. Possible directions for future research are discussed.

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