Understanding the role of bacterial self-targeting kinase toxins in phage defence

Name of applicant

Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen




Aarhus University


DKK 9,995,081



Type of grant

Semper Ardens: Accomplish


Like us, bacteria can become infected by viruses and in the constant battle for survival, both bacteria and viruses have evolved sophisticated defence systems targeting each other. Recently, a large number of new such defence systems have been discovered, and here we will study a group of kinase toxins capable of killing the bacterial cell upon viral infection.


Humanity is facing an unprecedented threat from antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria in the 21th century and understanding bacterial immune systems is critical in order for us to develop new ways to combat infectious diseases in the future. Understanding how bacteria defend themselves against viral infection will provide new ways of targeting pathogenic bacteria.


Using the large amount of bacterial genome sequences available, we will discover new molecular immunity systems with homology to kinases and characterise function and architecture using a wide range of techniques in microbiology, biochemistry, and structural biology. Combining this information will lead to a deep understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms that can be used in the future.

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