Stephanie L. Begg

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium and a clinically significant opportunistic human pathogen. Central to the ability of P. aeruginosa to colonise both environmental and host niches is the acquisition of zinc. Here we show that P. aeruginosa PAO1 acquires zinc via an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) permease in which ZnuA is the high(More)
Cadmium is a transition metal ion that is highly toxic in biological systems. Although relatively rare in the Earth's crust, anthropogenic release of cadmium since industrialization has increased biogeochemical cycling and the abundance of the ion in the biosphere. Despite this, the molecular basis of its toxicity remains unclear. Here we combine(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of life-threatening bacterial infections, especially in young children in developing countries. Pneumococcal infections can be treated with β-lactam antibiotics, but rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of S. pneumoniae over the past two decades has emphasized the need to identify novel drug targets.(More)
The relative stability of divalent first-row transition metal ion complexes, as defined by the Irving-Williams series, poses a fundamental chemical challenge for selectivity in bacterial metal ion acquisition. Here we show that although the substrate-binding protein of Streptococcus pneumoniae, PsaA, is finely attuned to bind its physiological substrate(More)
In microaerophilic or anaerobic environments, Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes nitrate reduction for energy production, a process dependent on the availability of the oxyanionic form of molybdenum, molybdate (MoO4 (2-)). Here, we show that molybdate acquisition in P. aeruginosa occurs via a high-affinity ATP-binding cassette permease (ModABC). ModA is a(More)
Prokaryotic metal-ion receptor proteins, or solute-binding proteins, facilitate the acquisition of metal ions from the extracellular environment. Pneumococcal surface antigen A (PsaA) is the primary Mn(2+)-recruiting protein of the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae and is essential for its in vivo colonization and virulence. The recently reported(More)
The crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious issues facing us today. The scale of the problem is illustrated by the recent commitment of Heads of State at the UN to coordinate efforts to curb the spread of AMR infections. In this review, we explore the biochemistry behind the headlines of a few stories that were recently published(More)
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