Dr Egbert Hoiczyk
Tel: 0114 222 2733
My laboratory uses high-resolution light and electron microscopy to study the structure, dynamics, and functions of important bacterial subcellular complexes to determine how they contribute to cellular organization.
Recent advances in high-resolution microscopy, bioinformatics, and structural determination have resulted in a fundamental reassessment of bacterial cell organization. Once perceived as simple and unorganized, in recent years bacteria have become appreciated for possessing structural, spatial, and temporal organizations that rival that of eukaryotic cells. Through an approach that couples advanced microscopy with classical genetics, biochemistry, and cell physiology, we aim at understanding how this complex organization is achieved and maintained in cells. Two different experimental approaches are used to accomplish this goal. The first approach relies on the fractionation of cells to discover, isolate, and characterize novel sub-cellular complexes and organelles that form the elementary building blocks of bacterial cells, while the second approach uses live imaging techniques, electron tomography, and genetic studies to study the function and dynamics of these structures in the context of living cells.
For most of our work, we use the predatory soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus as model organism. M. xanthus is highly social and forms large multicellular swarms that cooperatively feed on organic matter, including other bacterial cells, which are digested through the secretion of lytic enzymes [Fig. 1]. With a nearly 10 MB genome containing 7500 ORFs and a complex life-cycle that includes cellular differentiation, M. xanthus offers excellent opportunities to study bacterial cellular organization on a cellular level, and the contributions of the organelles to cellular differentiation processes and multicellular behaviours. To complement these studies we occasionally use additional prokaryotic organisms, including cyanobacteria and archaea that help validate and expand our findings in myxobacteria.
Microbiology, structural biology, ultra-structure, cytoskeleton, motility, nano-organelles
Research In Depth
Currently, we are working in the laboratory on the following three cellular structures, focusing both on their structures and their functions, and potential interactions with each other:
1.) Novel bacterial cytoskeleton proteins
I welcome applications from self-funded prospective home and international PhD students; see examples of possible projects below.
You can apply for a PhD position in MBB here.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Level 3 Modules
MBB328 The Organisation of Bacterial Cells
Level 2 Modules
MBB267 Genes, Genomes and Chromosomes
Level 1 Modules
- 2015 - present: Senior Lecturer Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Sheffield.
- 2002 - 2015: Assistant Professor, Dept. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
- 1998 - 2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.
- 1997 - 1998: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max von Pettenkofer Institute, Munich, Germany.
Honours and Distinctions
- 2005: Faculty Innovation Award (Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University)
- 2000 - 2002: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Fellowship
- Since 1992: Permanent Member of the German National Scholarship Foundation1986-1989 Student Fellowship of the German National Scholarship Foundation (“Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”)
- 1990 - 1992: PhD Fellowship of the German National Scholarship Foundation
- Zeth K, Hoiczyk E & Okuda M (2016) Ferroxidase-Mediated Iron Oxide Biomineralization: Novel Pathways to Multifunctional Nanoparticles. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 41(2), 190-203. View this article in WRRO
- Vassallo C, Pathak DT, Cao P, Zuckerman DM, Hoiczyk E & Wall D (2015) Cell rejuvenation and social behaviors promoted by LPS exchange in myxobacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(22), E2939-E2946. View this article in WRRO
- Reed P, Atilano ML, Alves R, Hoiczyk E, Sher X, Reichmann RT, Pereira PM, Roemer T, Filipe SR, Pereira-Leal JB, Ligoxygakis P & Pinho MG (2015) Staphylococcus aureus Survives with a Minimal Peptidoglycan Synthesis Machine but Sacrifices Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance. PLoS Pathogens, 11(5). View this article in WRRO
- Zuckerman DM, Boucher LE, Xie K, Engelhardt H, Bosch J & Hoiczyk E (2015) The Bactofilin Cytoskeleton Protein BacM of Myxococcus xanthus Forms an Extended β-Sheet Structure Likely Mediated by Hydrophobic Interactions. PLOS ONE, 10(3), e0121074-e0121074. View this article in WRRO
- Holkenbrink C, Hoiczyk E, Kahnt J & Higgs PI (2014) Synthesis and Assembly of a Novel Glycan Layer in Myxococcus xanthus Spores. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(46), 32364-32378. View this article in WRRO
- McHugh CA, Fontana J, Nemecek D, Cheng N, Aksyuk AA, Heymann JB, Winkler DC, Lam AS, Wall JS, Steven AC & Hoiczyk E (2014) A virus capsid‐like nanocompartment that stores iron and protects bacteria from oxidative stress. The EMBO Journal, 33(17), 1896-1911. View this article in WRRO
- Chen C, Zuckerman DM, Brantley S, Sharpe M, Childress K, Hoiczyk E & Pendleton AR (2014) Sambucus nigra extracts inhibit infectious bronchitis virus at an early point during replication. BMC Veterinary Research, 10(1), 24-24.
- Ren X, Hoiczyk E & Rasgon JL (2008) Viral Paratransgenesis in the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae. PLoS Pathogens, 4(8), e1000135-e1000135. View this article in WRRO
Conference proceedings papers
- Walther CG, Hoiczyk E & Lawrence EG (2017) Use of mNeonGreen as label for Single Molecule Localisation Microscopy (SMLM). mmc 2017
- Fontana J, Nemecek D, McHugh CA, Aksyuk AA, Cheng N, Winkler DC, Bernard Heymann J, Hoiczyk E & Steven AC (2014) Phage Capsid-like Structure of Myxococcus xanthus Encapsulin, a Protein Shell That Stores Iron. Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 20(S3) (pp 1244-1245)