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HARRRISBURG, Pa. – Harrisburg University Applied Mathematics and Biology Professor Dr. Akeisha Belgrave and colleagues from various U.S. and non-U.S. universities have published their research on a protein dubbed CglB in the Scientific Journal, Science Advances. 

The paper, titled, “Unmasking of the von Willebrand A-domain surface adhesin CglB at bacterial focal adhesions mediates myxobacterial gliding motility,” focuses on Belgrave and her colleague’s research results of CglB, found in the outer membrane of the Myxococcus xanthus bacteria cell.

The research was conducted by a group of scientists from Harrisburg University, Université du Québec, CNRS – Université Aix-Marseille, Princeton University, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Belgrave played an important part in contributing the force microscopy, force measurements, and analysis for the research. She began working on the project while completing her postdoctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Joshua Shaevitz at Princeton University and continued the analysis and paper editing at HU.

CglB can be found within a cluster of proteins known to be responsible for the gliding movement of the cell across a surface. It couples to the surface below the cell and acts as a motor to help push the cell forward. Belgrave was able to place polystyrene beads on the surface of immobilized bacteria cells using Optical Trapping.

To determine how forces exerted on the surface were helpful in understanding how CglB played a crucial role in gliding motility. Belgrave tracked the movement of the bead as it is moved by the motor. To analyze the results, she wrote code using the MATLAB programming language that produced the x-y position values of the bead as it is pushed along the surface of the cell by the motor protein to further understand the cell’s motility.

For more information and to read the paper, visit the following link.


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