Molecular Basis of Host Cell Lysis

Specific phage proteins are produced that target and breach each layer of the cell wall blocking phage exit from the cell. In Gram-negative host cells, phage use at least a few classes of lysis proteins to accomplish this outcome. There are unifying threads among phage with different lysis protein combinations, but new themes have emerged from studying lysis in both well-known and understudied phage. We seek to understand how each lysis protein works in several experimental systems and the regulatory mechanisms governing their activity using both wet bench techniques and genomics.