Michele LeRoux, PhD

Assistant Professor
Molecular Microbiology

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program

  • 314-273-6578

  • 314-273-6586

  • MSC-8230-16-08230

  • 4905 Children's Place

  • mleroux@wustl.edu

  • https://www.leroux-lab.org

  • bacteria, phage, bacteriophage, co-evolution

  • We study the molecular arms race between bacteria and phage

Research Abstract:

Bacteria and their viruses, phage - the most prolific biological entities on earth - have been co-evolving for millions of years. The bacterial-phage molecular arms race has driven incredible biological diversity and innovation, of which we have just scratched the surface. Our lab discovers new phage defense pathways in opportunistic pathogens and seeks to learn how these pathways function in natural bacterial growth contexts. We are also studying how specificity between bacteria and phage is determined by both defense pathways and phage counter-defenses. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms by which one class of phage defense pathways, toxin-antitoxin systems, sense phage and inhibit phage replication. Collectively, the knowledge we gain from these studies can help us understand how phage may be impacting bacterial infections and inform how we design phage therapy (the treatment of bacterial infections with phage).

Selected Publications:

The DarTG toxin-antitoxin system provides phage defence by ADP-ribosylating viral DNA.
LeRoux, M., Srikant, S., Teodoro, G.I.C,. Zhang, T., Littlehale, M.L., Doron, S., Badiee, M., Leung, A.K.L., Sorek, R., Laub, M.T.
(2022) Nature Microbiology, Jul;7(7):1028-1040. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-022-01153-5

Toxin-Antitoxin Systems as Phage Defense Elements.
LeRoux, M., Laub, M.T.
(2022) Annual Review of Microbiology. Apr 8. doi: 10.1146/annurev-micro-020722-013730.

Stress Can Induce Transcription of Toxin-Antitoxin Systems without Activating Toxin.
LeRoux, M., Culviner, P. H., Liu, Y. J., Littlehale, M. L., & Laub, M. T.
(2020) Molecular Cell, 79(2), 280-292.e8.

Bacterial Danger Sensing.
LeRoux, M., Peterson, S.B., Mougous, J.D.
(2015) Journal of Molecular Biology. 427(23), 3744-53.

An interbacterial NAD(P)+ glycohydrolase toxin requires elongation factor Tu for delivery to target cells.
Whitney, J.C., Quentin, D., Sawai, S., LeRoux, M., Harding, B.N., Ledvina, H.E., Tran B., Robinson, H., Goo Y.A., Goodlett, D.R., Raunser, S., and Mougous, J.D.
(2015) Cell. 163(3), 607-19.

A self-lysis pathway that enhances the virulence of a pathogenic bacterium.
McFarland, K. A., Dolben, E. L., LeRoux, M., Kambara, T. K., Ramsey, K. M., Kirkpatrick, R. L., Mougous J.D., Hogan D.A., and Dove S.L.
(2015) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(27), 8433-8438.

Lysis of kin cells is a danger signal that activates antibacterial pathways of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
LeRoux, M., Kirkpatrick, R.L., Montauti E.I., Peterson S.B., Harding B.N., Whitney, J.C., Russell A.B., Traxler, B., Goo, Y.A., Goodlett, D.R., Wiggins, P.A., and Mougous, J.D.
(2015) eLife. 4, e05701.

Last Updated: 11/11/2022 4:47:19 PM

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