protein secretion, intercellular signaling, microbial communities
Dr. Mougous performed his graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley in the laboratory of Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi. His thesis focused on the biosynthesis and role in virulence of sulfated glycolipids produced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. John Mekalanos at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Mougous studied protein secretion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
A major focus of the Mougous lab is to understand, from both mechanistic and functional perspectives, the type VI protein secretion system (T6SS). This pathway, which is present in hundreds of Gram-negative bacteria, is remarkable in that it can target its substrates–some of which are toxins–to eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells. Current projects in our lab aim to identify novel T6SS substrates and characterize their mechanism-of-action, develop a structure-function model for the T6SS, define the steps leading to activation of the system, and to investigate the impact of the system on bacterial pathogenesis and microbial ecology. The lab employs a diverse toolkit that ranges from animal models of disease to protein crystallography.