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Ray Dixon


Ray Dixon

Research Interests

  • Bacterial Signal Transduction

  • Transcriptional Activators

  • Nitrogen Fixation

  • Nitric Oxide Signalling

structure of NorR and structual model of NO-sensing GAR domain

The ability of bacteria to respond to a multitude of environmental signals and integrate these signals to trigger adaptive responses provides a successful strategy for survival in rapidly changing environments. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which these signals are perceived and integrated is the main aim of our work. We are analysing multi-protein signalling complexes in which interactions are modulated by redox changes, ligand binding and covalent modification. Our major emphasis is on signal transduction cascades that regulate nitrogen fixation genes in response to oxygen, carbon and fixed nitrogen status. We also study a specific class of prokaryotic transcription factors that use energy from nucleotide hydrolysis to drive the process of transcription initiation. These bacterial enhancer binding proteins interact at a distance with RNA polymerase holoenzyme containing an unusual sigma factor, sigma54. One such protein under study (in collaboration with Stephen Spiro, Dallas, USA) is NorR, a nitric oxide responsive transcriptional activator that controls expression of genes required for NO detoxification. Enhancer binding proteins contain a variety of sensory modules that probably contribute to the adaptability and unique physiological diversity of many bacteria.

Ray Dixon's JIC Page
Molecular Microbiology Home Page Microbes In Norwich
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