Danielle Tullman-Ercek Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Research Interests

Engineering of membrane proteins and protein membranes

Our focus is to control the transport of all types of materials, from electrons to macromolecules, across cellular membranes. Proteins are the principal "gatekeepers" of the cell but are in relatively complex formations, and therefore we rely heavily on protein engineering and synthetic biology strategies to achieve our goals. Notably, this permits us to engineer not only lipid-based membrane systems but also those membranes that are composed entirely of proteins. Thus, our model systems include protein compartments such as the MS2 viral capsid and enteric bacterial microcompartments, and traditional membrane protein complexes such as the type III secretion system and multidrug efflux pumps. In the process of trying to engineer these systems to gain or improve function, we often make surprising observations that lead to new, hypothesis-driven basic science projects. This work has broad application, from the production of biochemicals to the development of living batteries.

Selected Publications

A Secretion-Amplification Role for Salmonella enterica Translocon Protein SipD. Glasgow AA, Wong HT, and Tullman-Ercek D. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2017 June 16;6(6):1006-1015.

A Selection for Assembly Reveals That a Single Amino Acid Mutant of the Bacteriophage MS2 Coat Protein Forms a Smaller Virus-like Particle. Asensio MA, Morella NM, Jakobson CM, Hartman EC, Glasgow JE, Sankaran B, Zwart PH, and Tullman-Ercek D. Nano Letters. 2016 September 14;16(9):5944-5950.

Dumpster Diving in the Gut: Bacterial Microcompartments as Part of a Host-Associated Lifestyle. Jakobson CM and Tullman-Ercek D. PLoS Pathogens. 2016 May 12;12(5):e1005558.

Localization of Proteins to the 1,2-Propanediol Utilization Microcompartment by Non-native Signal Sequences Is Mediated by a Common Hydrophobic Motif. Jakobson CM, Kim EY, Slininger MF, Chien A, and Tullman-Ercek D. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2015 October 2;290(40):24519-24533.

Using Transcriptional Control To Increase Titers of Secreted Heterologous Proteins by the Type III Secretion System. Metcalf KJ, Finnerty C, Azam A, Valdivia E, and Tullman-Ercek D. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2014 October 1;80(19):5927-5934.

View all publications by Danielle Tullman-Ercek in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).