Date of Defense

Fall 11-22-2004


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

John R. Geiser, Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Bruce Bejcek, Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Dean Shinabarger, Micromyx


In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a wave of death swept through Europe in the form of plague. Millions were killed by this swift, lethal disease. At its heart was a tiny bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Pathogenic Yersinia species have developed a potent way to kill host eukaryotic cells. Known as the Type III Secretion System (TTSS), gram-negative bacteria such as Yersinia, Salmonella, and Shigella inject protein toxins into a host cell which result in cell death through many different pathways. Secretion visa a Type III secretion system is a highly orchestrated process in which the bacterial cell first comes into contact with the target eukaryotic immune cell. After contact is made, an aresenal of effector proteins, called Yersinia Outer Proteins (Yops), is delivered into the host cell. These Yops target adhesion complexes inflammatory response, and the cytoskeleton to ultimately cause cell death (Cornelis, 2000). This project studies the effects of chemical compounds on the lethality of the Yop protein toxins.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only