Understanding the mechanism of silver resistance in Escherichia coli by evaluating mutations in CusS

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Misty Thomas



Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


As resistance to antimicrobial agents continues to become more widespread in nature understanding the mechanisms bacteria use to combat them is important to prevent antimicrobial agents from becoming ineffective in treating microbial infections. Bacteria utilize the Cus system to obtain silver resistance. CusS is an important protein in this system and is used to sense silver in the presence of the cell. Only the crystal structure of the sensor domain of CusS has been determined. Researchers still are aiming to determine the crystal structure of the periplasmic domain because knowing the crystal structure of a protein helps to understand its function. Recombinant cloning was used for the expression of CusS in component cells. In the procedure that was followed, the CusS protein was not successfully expressed by the competent cells used. The goal is to successfully determine the crystal structure of the periplasmic domain of CusS to better understand the protein and its contribution to bacterial silver resistance. This will aid in the greater effort to prevent the oncoming of the antimicrobial resistance crisis by understanding how bacteria become resistant to silver.

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