Prof Mark Buttner

Head of Department
Molecular Microbiology

Research in our lab focusses on the cell biological processes underpinning Streptomyces sporulation, the master regulators that control these processes, and the regulatory networks that link the two. 

Our approach exploits a broad range of disciplines including cell biology, modelling, global ‘omics’ methods, genetics and biochemistry, right through to X-ray crystallography. As part of our work, we have recently pioneered the development of Streptomyces venezuelae as a new model system for the genus. Unlike most Streptomyces species, S. venezuelae sporulates in liquid culture, giving us a unique opportunity to follow the movement of multiple developmental proteins in time and space during differentiation using time-lapse imaging (movies). Sporulation in liquid culture also allows us to optimally apply global approaches like microarray transcriptional profiling and ChIP-seq to the analysis of cellular differentiation. 

In addition to our developmental research, we also investigate the molecular mechanisms that mediate oxidative and cell envelope stress responses in Streptomyces, and those involved in the control of antibiotic resistance, focussing on key components of each signal transduction pathway.

Sporulation mystery solved

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Recent Publications

Bush M. J., Tschowri N., Schlimpert S., Flärdh K., Buttner M. J. (2015)

c-di-GMP signalling and the regulation of developmental transitions in streptomycetes

Nature Reviews Microbiology 13 (12) p749-60

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/nrmicro3546

Schafer M., Le T. B., Hearnshaw S. J., Maxwell A., Challis G. L., Wilkinson B., Buttner M. J. (2015)

SimC7 is a novel NAD(P)H-dependent ketoreductase essential for the antibiotic activity of the DNA gyrase inhibitor simocyclinone.

Journal of Molecular Biology 427 p2192-2204

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.03.019

Sidda J. D., Song L., Poon V., Al-Bassam M., Lazos O., Buttner M. J., Challis G. L., Corre C. (2014)

Discovery of a family of γ-aminobutyrate ureas via rational derepression of a silent bacterial gene cluster

Chemical Science 5 p86-89

Publisher’s version: 10.1039/c3sc52536h

Tschowri N., Schumacher M. A., Schlimpert S., Chinnam N. B., Findlay K. C., Brennan R. G., Buttner M. J. (2014)

Tetrameric c-di-GMP Mediates Effective Transcription Factor Dimerization to Control Streptomyces Development.

Cell 158 (5) p1136-47

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.022

Al-Bassam M. M., Bibb M. J., Bush M. J., Chandra G., Buttner M. J. (2014)

Response regulator heterodimer formation controls a key stage in Streptomyces development

PLoS Genetics 10 (8) pe1004554

Publisher’s version: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004554

View All

Mark Buttner

  • Dr Matt Bush Research Assistant
  • Dr Morgan Feeney Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Martin Schafer Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Susan Schlimpert Research Fellow
  • Kelley Gallagher Postdoctoral Scientist


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