Structural Biology of Spore Germination in Clostridium Species
Born and raised in rural Vermont, I attended the University of New England, in Biddeford, Maine for my BS in Medical Biology. After graduating in 2008, I moved to Burlington and started working at UVM as a research technician in the lab of Elizabeth Bonney, MD. I joined the CMB program in the fall of 2010. I am currently doing structural biology research in Dr. Sylvie Doublié’s lab, my project is in collaboration with Dr. Aimee Shen. When I’m not in the lab or in the library, I enjoy yoga, snowboarding, and playing the cello.
Infection of the intestinal tract with Clostridium sp. is established by germination of spores into vegetative cells upon exposure to small molecule germinant signals. During germination, cortex hydrolases must degrade the peptidoglycan cortex of the spore, which serves as a protective barrier that allows the spore to withstand extreme conditions and harsh chemicals. One hydrolase important in the cortex hydrolysis process for Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium difficile is SleC, whose activation depends on proteolytic cleavage by the upstream Csp-family proteases. However, little is known of the specific mechanism of activation of Csps or SleC. We seek to learn more about the process of spore germination with structural studies of these required enzymes.
Stevenson GW, Cormier J, Mercer H, Adams C, Dunbar C, Negus SS, Bilsky EJ. Targeting pain-depressed behaviors in preclinical assays of pain and analgesia: drug effects on acetic acid-depressed locomotor activity in ICR mice. Life Sci. 2009 Aug 12;85(7-8):309-15
Stevenson GW, Mercer H, Cormier J, Dunbar C, Benoit L, Adams C, Jezierski J, Luginbuhl A, Bilsky EJ. Monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis produces pain-depressed wheel-running in rats: implications for preclinical behavioral assessment of chronic pain. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2011 Mar;98(1):35-42
Adams CM, Eckenroth BE, Putnam EE, Doublié S, Shen A (2013) Structural and functional analysis of the CspB protease required for Clostridium spore germination. PLoS Pathog 9(2): e1003165.
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Dr. Kelly Fimlaid
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