Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry, part of the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division. We are one of the largest Biochemistry departments in the world and carry out world-class research and teaching. Our researchers come from a range of disciplines and work in a collaborative environment on all aspects of modern molecular and cellular biochemistry. We hope you enjoy reading more about our activities on these pages.
Professor Mark Sansom, Head of Department
Dynamic behaviour of bacterial injectisome component visualised in new study
Schematic of the bacterial Type III secretion injectisome which injects effector proteins directly into the host cell. The C-ring cytosolic component is shown in red
Research in the department has shed light on a machinery that causes virulence in a group of pathogenic bacteria.
The work from Professor Judy Armitage's lab, led by Dr Andreas Diepold, reveals previously unobserved features of the injectisome, an essential virulence factor that is responsible for the transmission of bacterial proteins into host cells.
Published in PLoS Biology with collaborators from the Department of Physics in Oxford and the Biozentrum in Basel, the findings suggest the possibility of a novel target for the development of anti-virulence drugs (1).
Many Gram-negative bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella and Yersinia use the Type III secretion system to help them to thrive in their host. The machinery, also called injectisome, uses a protruding needle to inject a range of effector molecules into host cells, allowing the bacteria to proliferate without being eliminated by the host immune system.