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Personal profile


Dennis Linton is Lecturer in the Faculty of Life Sciences within the Molecular Microbiology research theme. http://www.ls.manchester.ac.uk/research/themes/microbiology/.

Dennis graduated with a BSc in Microbiology (1988) from the University of East Anglia and subsequently worked as a Clinical Scientist within the Health Protection Agency in London. He completed his PhD (1997) on the characterisation of novel Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and joined Professor Brendan Wren's group based at St. Bartholomews Hospital in London as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on Campylobacter jejuni. A second postdoctoral position in Professor Wren's group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine led to the award of a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship in 2003 taken up at the University of Manchester.

Research interests

Glycosylation is a common protein modification in eukaryotes with a number of important functions. However in bacteria, protein glycosylation is relatively rare and its role unclear. In my laboratory we are investigating the protein glycosylation systems found in Campylobacter jejuni, an important bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis. This bacterium has both N- and O-linked protein glycosylation pathways; the former responsible for glycosylation of numerous surface proteins and the latter for glycosylation of the flagellin protein, the structural subunit of the C. jejuni flagellum. More recently we have begun the characterisation of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems found in other Campylobacter, Helicobacter and related species.

Our research takes a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to understanding at the molecular level the biosynthesis of these bacterial glycoproteins. This will increase our understanding of the fundamental biology of a number of important human and veterinary pathogens found among this group of bacteria, and inform approaches to the biotechnological exploitation of these systems for glycoconjugate synthesis.




The coupling of sugars to cellular proteins, known as protein glycosylation, is common in complex organisms but much rarer in bacteria. However in a specific group of bacteria including the species that is the most common cause of human food poisoning, Campylobacter jejuni, sugars are used to modify many of the proteins at the bacterial surface to produce so-called glycoproteins. In our laboratory we are characterizing the molecular details of these bacterial protein glycosylation processes. This is important as we do not know why these bacteria glycosylate their proteins but it is likely to be involved in their ability to cause human and veterinary disease. Also these simple protein glycosylation systems can be used to make glycoproteins that could be used in medicine as drugs or vaccines.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Lydia Becker Institute


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