Joel Spratt

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Joel Spratt

Graduate Student

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The bacterial flagellar motor (BFM) is one of the most complex protein machines found in nature and how it self-assembles and produces force are very much open questions. My project seeks to study the constituent parts of the motor in vitro, with the focus being primarily on FliG, a protein which helps to form the motor’s cytoplasmic ring (also known as the C-ring). The experimental approach employs a DNA scaffold to direct the in vitro formation of the FliG ring, with the aim of determining both the number of proteins in the complex and the means by which they associate to form a circular structure. To mediate binding of the FliG protein to the DNA scaffold, I have produced a peptide-DNA conjugate where the peptide corresponds to the cytoplasmic domain of the protein FliF. FliG binds to this domain in vivo and I have been able to demonstrate this binding in vitro through the creation and characterization of both linear and circular arrangements of FliG on a FliF-DNA scaffold.