Structural proteomics, electron cryo-microscopy and structural modeling approaches in bacteria-human protein interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


A central challenge in infection medicine is to determine the structure and function of host-pathogen protein-protein interactions to understand how these interactions facilitate bacterial adhesion, dissemination and survival. In this review, we focus on proteomics, electron cryo-microscopy and structural modeling to showcase instances where affinity-purification (AP) and cross-linking (XL) mass spectrometry (MS) has advanced our understanding of host-pathogen interactions. We highlight cases where XL-MS in combination with structural modeling has provided insight into the quaternary structure of interspecies protein complexes. We further exemplify how electron cryo-tomography has been used to visualize bacterial-human interactions during attachment and infection. Lastly, we discuss how AP-MS, XL-MS and electron cryo-microscopy and -tomography together with structural modeling approaches can be used in future studies to broaden our knowledge regarding the function, dynamics and evolution of such interactions. This knowledge will be of relevance for future drug and vaccine development programs.


External organisations
  • University of Zurich
  • Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalMedical microbiology and immunology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Feb 19
Publication categoryResearch