The Orth lab is interested in elucidation the activity of virulence factors from pathogenic bacteria so that we can gain molecular insight into eukaryotic signaling systems. These virulence factors have evolved in a manner similar to many of the viral oncogenes; a eukaryotic activity is usurped and modified by the pathogen for its own advantage. Our discoveries have and continue to provide novel insights into signaling systems involving innate immunity, actin cytoskeletal remodeling, and autophagy that are manipulated by bacterial pathogens in the eukaryotic host. These finding have uncovered new mechanisms, such as AMPylation, that are used by eukaryotic cells for signal transduction and MAM7 that can be used as an anti-microbial agent. Our work at UT Southwestern is accomplished by using a broad range of tools, including biochemistry, molecular microbiology, structural biology, yeast genetics, and cell biology.