In FY 2013, we continued investigation of the staphylococcal peptide cytolysins, phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs). Current efforts focus on structure-function relationship studies of PSMs, antimicrobial activities of PSMs, and the PSM exporter, with the long-term goals to produce anti-PSM therapeutics for the treatment of staphylococcal infections. We have identified the PSM exporter and are currently setting up translational follow-up projects to find drugs interfering with PSM export. We also produced monoclonal antibodies targeting the SasX protein, previously identified to promote colonization and infection of a variety of epidemic MRSA strains in China. These will be tested in the future for a potential inhibition of colonization/infection.

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