Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew L. Nilles


Gram-negative pathogen, Yersinia pestis, expresses a type three secretion system to accomplish its virulence. The YscF needle protein provides a conduit of effectors from bacterium to eukaryote and is exposed to the host immune system. This thesis explores YscF and its associated needle homologs and the possibility of recognition as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) by macrophage tissue culture. Interestingly, Salmonella homologs PrgI and SsaG are inflammatory suggesting conservation of the inflammatory pattern in the T3SS needle protein.