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Dr. John Whitney and Students Discover New Family of Antibacterial Proteins Used for Bacterial Warfare and Make JBC’s “Editor’s Pick”

First authors of the publication, IIDR summer students Nathan Bullen and Jenny Tang of Dr. John Whitney’s lab.

Competition between Gram-negative bacteria is mediated by the bacterial type VI secretion system (T6SS). The T6SS delivers antibacterial protein effectors between competing bacterial cells -however, the mode of action of the majority of effectors is unknown. In recent work published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Dr. John Whitney and his IIDR team identified two new families of effectors, and demonstrate that they kill bacteria by depleting cells of NAD+ and NADP+. Their important work highlights the essentiality of electron-carrying dinucleotides for bacterial viability, and was selected as a JBC “Editor’s pick” – deemed by the editorial board to be in their top 2 percent of published manuscripts in terms of significance and overall importance.

Read the full publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC).


Christy Groves