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A protein domain modulating host-cell invasion

Invention Reference Number


Technology Summary

Infection by specific microbes can confer beneficial phenotypes in plants including nitrogen fixation by bacteria, for example. However, the same molecular mechanisms that lead to colonization by symbionts can facilitate infection by disease-causing microbes and parasites in plants and animals. This invention shows that the presence of a fully functional protein domain leads to suppression of host immunity to facilitate host-cell invasion by symbionts, pathogens and parasites across eukaryotic organisms. Specific modification of essential amino acids in this domain will lead to induction of defense responses to prevent host-cell invasion. Therefore, this domain and its essential amino acids can be engineered to facilitate or prevent host-cell invasion by organisms including bacteria, fungi and obligate parasites such as nematodes, Rickettsia and Plasmodium sp.


Carly M Shanks
Biosciences Division
Wellington Muchero
Biosciences Division

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