News & Events

Jerry Troutman, Ph.D.

Posted on October 13, 2017


Date - October 13, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of North Carolina Charlotte

Talk Title: “Isoprenoid based tools for bacterial glycobiology”


With the rampant increase in antibiotic resistance and alarming decline in the success rate for developing new antibiotics, public health experts warn of an imminent antibiotic crisis. To combat the problem of antibiotic resistance, new antibiotics with novel modes of action need to be developed. Complex glycans formed on the surface of bacteria are critical to a wide range of biological processes from symbiosis, to pathogenesis and survival in the environment. The diverse and presumably structure specific roles of these glycans are poorly understood. Central to nearly all complex glycan biosynthesis systems is the 55-carbon isoprenoid bactoprenyl phosphate, which serves as an anchor for the production of glycan repeat units on the cytosolic face of bacterial inner membranes. Our group has taken advantage of the key role that this molecule plays to design fluorescent probes for glycan biosynthesis in vitro. We have begun developing these probes further to track the production of these glycans in live cells. Applications of these probes are helping us to develop a new understanding of the interplay of complex carbohydrate biosynthesis pathways in cells providing important information on potential targets for the development of novel anti-microbial agents.