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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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  • Ruth KEARY
  • Position held in the Lab: Post-doc
  • In the Lab from 01/11/2014 since 30/09/2019

Project Description:

My current research involves investigating the structure, function and mechanism of MreC and MreD morphogenetic factors in both rod-shaped and coccoid bacteria using a combination of genetic and cell biology approaches. MreC and MreD are essential morphogenetic factors in the rod-shaped bacteria Bacillus subtilis. They are transmembrane proteins believed to be responsible for coupling the intercellular MreB cytoskeleton to extracellular proteins, which catalyse lateral cell wall (CW) synthesis. However, their precise function remains elusive and the function of MreC/D in coccus cells, which lack MreB (and have no lateral CW synthesis), is completely unknown.

Unveiling the function and mechanism of MreC/D will contribute to the better understanding of the fundamental networks governing bacterial morphogenesis, which is closely related to bacterial growth and survival. Prokaryotic cell wall (CW) synthesis and maintenance is intimately linked to many important bacterial characteristics including; competence, antibiotic resistance, immune evasion and pathogenesis. Thus, better understanding of the pathways involved in CW synthesis and development may give us insight into the biochemical networks governing these traits.


8) Dajkovic, A., Tesson, B., Chauhan, S., Courtin, P., Keary, R., Flores, P., Marlière, C., Felipe, S., Chapot-Chartier, MP., Carballido-Lopez, R. Hydrolysis of Peptidoglycan is Modulated by Amidation of meso-Diaminopimelic Acid and Mg2+ in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol. 2017 Mar 20;doi: 10.1111/mmi.13673.

7) Keary, R., Sanz Gaitero, M., van Raaij, M.J., O'Mahony, J., Fenton, M., McAuliffe, O., Hill, C., Ross, R.P., Coffey, A., Characterization of a bacteriophage-derived murein peptidase for elimination of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Curr Protein Pept Sci, 2016, 17(2):183-90.

6) Sanz Gaitero, M., Keary, R., Garcia-Doval, C., Coffey, A., van Raaij, M.J., Crystal structure of the lytic CHAP K domain of the endolysin LysK from Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage K. Virol J, 2014, 11(1;133).

5) Keary R., McAuliffe, O., Ross, R.P., O'Mahony, J., Coffey, A., Genome analysis of the staphylococcal temperate phage DW2 and functional studies on the endolysin and tail hydrolase. Bacteriophage, 2014, 4(e28451).

4) Sanz Gaitero, M., Keary, R., Garcia Doval, C., Coffey, A., van Raaij, M.J., Crystallization of the CHAP domain of the endolysin from Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage K. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, 2013, 69(12): p. 1393-6.

3) Keary, R., McAuliffe, O., Ross, R.P., Hill, C., O’Mahony, J., Coffey, A., Bacteriophages and their endolysins for control of pathogenic bacteria- Microbial pathogens and strategies for combating them: science, technology and education, Vol. 2 (2013), Editor: A. Méndez-Vilas. Publisher: Formatex Research Center, Badajoz, Spain.ISBN: 978-84-942134-0-3, p1028-40.

2) Fenton, M., Keary, R., McAuliffe, O., Ross, R.P., O'Mahony, J., Coffey, A., Bacteriophage-derived peptidase CHAPK eliminates and prevents staphylococcal biofilms. Int J Microbiol, 2013 (625341).

1) Risse, P.A., Kachmar, L., Matusovsky, O.S., Novali, M., Gil, F.R., Javeshghani, S., Keary, R., Haston, C.K., Michoud, M.C., Martin, J.G., Lauzon, A.M., Ileal smooth muscle dysfunction and remodeling in cystic fibrosi. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 2012, 303(1): p. 1-8.

Curriculum Vitae:

  • 2011-2014: Part-time lecturer, Biological Sciences Department, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland.
  • 2009-2014: PhD, Biocontrol Research Laboratory, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland.
  • 2005-2009: First class honours degree, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.
  • Research placements:
    • Meakins Christie Laboratories, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
    • REMEDI, Regenerative Medicine Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.