New Research Published on Chlamydia Effector Proteins by Lister Fellow David Komander

We are pleased to share the news that Lister Institute Fellow Dr. David Komander has recently published a new paper in Nature Microbiology.

The paper is entitled; A Chlamydia effector combining deubiquitination and acetylation activities induces Golgi fragmentation and was published on the journal’s website on the 5th of November 2018.

The paper discusses the bacterial effector Chlamydia trachomatis, which is designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a neglected disease pathogen. Research aiming at developing a better understanding of Chlamydia pathogenesis is very important to ensuring effective protection and treatment for this potentially serious condition, and this paper represents some of the latest thinking on the topic.

The paper presents the work of Dr. Komander and his collaborators on the identification and explanation of dual Lys63-deubiquitinase (DUB) and Lys-acetyltransferase activities in the Chlamydia effector ChlaDUB1. David’s main area of research, and the subject of the new paper, is a set of processes known as ubiquitination which play an important role in regulating all aspects of life.

The surprising finding of the paper was that an enzyme deeply rooted in ubiquitin removal, served a second function by performing an unrelated modification, acetylation. This, yet again, shows how versatile bacteria are in using their limited set of genes to perform multiple functions. It is further hoped that a better understanding of the nature and role of effector proteins in the processes described will lead to a deeper understanding of Chlamydia pathogenesis, ultimately with input into potential therapies.

Dr. Komander is a distinguished scientist and just recently moved his laboratory to the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia. At WEHI, David will head a Ubiquitin Signalling Division that will combine a variety of skills and approaches to study the ubiquitin system as a whole, focussing on human biology and diseases.

David previously ran a highly respected and successful group at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), which has been nicknamed the ‘Nobel Prize Factory’ as key staff have been awarded a total of 12 Nobel Prizes for cutting-edge basic research.

Dr. Komander was awarded a Lister Research Prize in 2012 which has helped support various aspects of his work into the modification of proteins and bacterial effector signalling. We are very pleased to have played a role in supporting David’s valued research achievements over the years and are looking forward to hearing more about his valuable work in the future.