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Incorporation of unnatural fluorinated amino acids to probe the function of the bacterial efflux system Kef in a cellular setting.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 FLUOROKEF project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the FLUOROKEF project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "FLUOROKEF" about.

mechanism    amber    nmr    sdkef    protects    kill    molecular    19f    function    ligands    dynamic    f448tfmf    stop    terminal    indicates    potassium    coli    probe    understand    inside    compounds    biophysical    crystallographic    gain    shewanella    drugs    bauer    affinities    length    physiologically    denitrificans    codon    phenylalanine    employed    f448    sdkefctd    employ    vitro    binding    acidification    antibiotics    eckefctd    library    homeostasis    activation    hypothesis    lack    construct    inhibitors    direct    antibiotic    conformation    domain    441    trifluromethyl    f441    extend    truncated    transformants    efflux    residue    cell    allowed    cells    cytoplasm    data    quantitatively    tfmf    ray    monitor    bacteria    assays    maintaining    vital    kirby    replace    disc    screen    full    channel    conserved    activators    cellular    kd    wish    diffusion    generation    kef    detrimental    dynamics    escherichia    soluble    electrophilic   

Project "FLUOROKEF" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2017-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The potassium efflux system, Kef, protects bacteria against the detrimental effects of electrophilic compounds via acidification of the cytoplasm. Its vital role in maintaining cell homeostasis makes Kef a promising target for antibiotics, but such drugs can be developed only with a molecular understanding of Kef activation. Our work indicates that phenylalanine residue 441 (F441) in Escherichia coli is crucial for the activation of K efflux. This mechanism is conserved, and F448 of Shewanella denitrificans Kef (SdKef) has the same function. This work employed X-ray crystallographic studies using a truncated construct of the E. coli Kef soluble C-terminal domain (EcKefCTD) and biophysical studies conducted on the SdKef C-terminal domain (SdKefCTD). While the crystallographic studies have been essential in hypothesis generation, they lack the dynamic aspect that is required to understand the mechanism of Kef activation. Although the use of a truncated construct has allowed development of biophysical assays, we wish to extend our work to focus on the full-length channel. To achieve these aims we will employ whole cell 19F NMR to probe the function of Kef.

To determine if 19F NMR can be used to monitor F448 conformation, we will employ amber stop codon technology to replace F448 of SdKef with 4-trifluromethyl-L-phenylalanine (tfmF). We will monitor the dynamics of F448tfmF by 19F NMR upon binding of activators and inhibitors, using our library of SdKef ligands. To gain an understanding of Kef activation in cells, we will quantitatively determine binding affinities of the Kef ligands to SdKef(F448tfmF), in E. coli transformants using in-cell 19F NMR. This direct determination of binding inside the cells will be more physiologically relevant than the in vitro KD data. To assess the antibiotic activity of compounds that show cellular activity against Kef, we will employ the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method to screen for compounds that can kill bacteria.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Christos Pliotas, Samuel C. Grayer, Silvia Ekkerman, Anthony K. N. Chan, Jess Healy, Phedra Marius, Wendy Bartlett, Amjad Khan, Wilian A. Cortopassi, Shane A. Chandler, Tim Rasmussen, Justin L. P. Benesch, Robert S. Paton, Timothy D. W. Claridge, Samantha Miller, Ian R. Booth, James H. Naismith, Stuart J. Conway
Adenosine Monophosphate Binding Stabilizes the KTN Domain of the Shewanella denitrificans Kef Potassium Efflux System
published pages: 4219-4234, ISSN: 0006-2960, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00300
Biochemistry 56/32 2019-06-18

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