Learn more about how virulence is regulated in Listeria monocytogenes: New publication in PLOS pathogens

Inhibition of the master regulator of Listeria monocytogenes virulence enables bacterial clearance from spacious replication vacuoles in infected macrophages. Tran TT, Mathmann CD, Gatica-Andrades M, Rollo RF, Oelker M, Ljungberg JK, Nguyen TTK, Zamoshnikova A, Kummari LK, Wyer OJK, Irvine KM, Melo-Bolívar J, Gross A, Brown D, Mak JYW, Fairlie DP, Hansford KA, Cooper MA, Giri R, Schreiber V, Joseph SR, Simpson F, Barnett TC, Johansson J, Dankers W, Harris J, Wells TJ, Kapetanovic R, Sweet MJ, Latomanski EA, Newton HJ, Guérillot RJR, Hachani A, Stinear TP, Ong SY, Chandran Y, Hartland EL, Kobe B, Stow JL, Sauer-Eriksson AE, Begun J, Kling JC, Blumenthal A. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Jan 10;18(1):e1010166.

New publication in PNAS describing the tripartite cytotoxin MakABE from V. cholerae

In this paper the crystal structures of MakA, MakB and MakE are characterized. They are proteins that are secreted via the bacterial flagellum. Together they form a tripartite toxin that lyses erythrocytes and is cytotoxic to cultured human cells. The work was lead by group Karina Persson.


New publication describing the amyloid structure of human transthyretin

We have a new publication out in Nature communications describing the cryo-EM structure of the 2-protofilament fiber of human transthyretin. The fibers we purified from vitreous body material collected by vitrectomy from the eye of a Swedish carrier of the ATTR Val30Met variant.


Congratulations Dr Oelker!

Thesis defense: Melanie Oelker

The 4th of Nov, 2021 at 10:00 in “Glasburen” will Melanie Oelker defend her thesis: “Disarming Bacteria: A structure-based approach to design an anti-virulence drug against Listeria monocytogenes”. Faculty opponent is Prof. Tiziano Tuccinardi, University of Pisa, Italy.

ISB postdoc program – Calls out for project proposals from PIs

The ISB postdoc program call is now open for the round of 2021. At this stage we are inviting project proposals from PIs that wish to recruit postdocs within this program. For full details of the call and how to apply, please see https://www.biostruct.umu.se/isb-postdoctoral-program/

New publication on the regulation of conjugation

We have a new publication out in mSphere regarding how enterococcal PrgU provides additional layer of complexity to pheromone controlled conjugative plasmids in Gram-positive bacteria!


Postdoc fellowship available in Karina Persson’s group- apply by June 18

Apply here: Postdoc fellowship available in Karina Persson’s lab

If you are interested in membrane proteins and structural biology and want to use a blend mentods: X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM and protein chemistry- please apply. It is a fellowship for two years funded by Carl Trygger foundations.

PhD position available

The Andersson lab at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University, Sweden, is looking to recruit a PhD student to join our team to study ATP-dependent membrane proteins with a specific focus on regulation mechanisms and bacterial antibiotic resistance. We combine structural biology techniques ranging from cryo-EM, X-ray solution scattering, and cutting-edge time-resolved X-ray scattering to determine structures of high-energy states (see our 2020 publication in Science Advances) – that are invisible to other structural biology techniques. So, if you’re interested in pushing the limits of structural biology – come join our team!
Here is a link to the full ad and the application details: 

Magnus Andersson

Postdoc fellowship available to work on Type 4 Secretion Systems – deadline 21st of May

The Berntsson lab at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University, Sweden, is recruiting one postdoctoral fellow (funded by the Kempe Foundation) to study the structural and functional aspects of Type 4 Secretion Systems. These large protein complexes are responsible for horizontal gene transfer between bacteria. As such, they facilitate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes and virulence factors between bacteria, both intra- and interspecies.

            The overall goal of this project is to study the assembly and structure of the membrane channel of Gram-positive Type 4 Secretion Systems, with the aim of deducing their structure via cryo-EM. Initial work on this project has already been done, with a focus on the individual components of the channel (both unpublished data and Jäger et al, 2020, bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/2020.10.30.342212), which we will now build upon. Here at Umeå University we have access to excellent facilities to perform integrated structural biology projects, including a state-of-the-art cryo-EM facility (https://tinyurl.com/b2szms7z).


Applicants must possess a PhD, or another diploma deemed equivalent to a PhD, within molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology or a related field. Furthermore, the applicant must have practical experience and expertise of cloning, protein production and purification in/from bacteria. Previous experience with cryo-EM (single particle analysis or electron tomography) is highly desirable. Previous experience of working with membrane proteins is an advantage, as is experience with Gram-positive bacteria, like E. faecalis. The applicant must have a very good level of English, both written and spoken. To fit into our team, applicants are expected to be good team players, but they should also be able to work independently. 


The application should consist of the following:

  1. A motivation letter (max 1 A4), where you highlight why you want to join the lab and study T4SSs. This letter must also include your contact information.
  2. The Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of published peer-reviewed articles.
  3. Copies of the PhD diploma (or equivalent).
  4. Contact details for three references, of which one should be your PhD supervisor.

The duration of the fellowship, which is a tax-free stipend, is 2 years. Your application should be written in English and prepared as a single package in PDF format, to be submitted to ronnie.berntsson@umu.se. Make sure to use the subject line: “postdoc application 2021-05” in the application email. Submit the application on May 21st, 2021 at the latest. The top ranked candidates will be contacted within two weeks from the closing date for an interview. Starting date will be according to agreement (and of course what the current pandemic situation allows). For more information about the research or other details, please contact Dr. Ronnie Berntsson. 

Email: ronnie.berntsson@umu.se

Webpage: https://www.biostruct.umu.se/principal-investigators/ronnie-berntsson/