Unveiling the molecular mechanism of bacterial ABC toxins (2017–2019)
This project will build on our pioneering studies of the recently characterised ABC family of bacterial protein toxins. ABC toxins are the main virulence factors in many species of naturally-occurring bacterial pathogens of insect pests. Here we aim to establish that ABC toxins are representative of a novel protein machinery that may be employed more widely throughout cells and other organisms to direct the intercellular delivery of bioactive proteins in a highly cell-specific manner. We expect these findings will enable the development of new biopesticides based on ABC toxins, as well as generic intercellular protein delivery devices for a variety of biotechnological applications.