The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received afour-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences to advance the understanding of how endotoxin, a major component of disease-causing bacteria, is transported within the cell.

​Candice Klug, Ph.D., professor of biophysics at MCW, is the primary investigator of the grant.

​Endotoxin, also known as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is amolecule found in infectious bacteria such as Escherichia coli(E. coli) and Salmonella typhimurium. Endotoxin is essential for the survival of these bacteria and acts as the bacterial cell’s first line of defense during an infection. These molecules producesevere septic shock in humans and can quickly lead to inflammatory disease or death.

​In this project, Dr. Klug intends to investigate how the endotoxin-transport protein, LptA, transports endotoxin within the cell. Understanding the proteins and interactions involved in the transportation of endotoxin within the cell may give insights into how to combat these potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria.

The findings will serve as a foundation for the future development of antibiotics against disease causing bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.