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Lawrence Reitzer

Lawrence Reitzer

Professor - Biological Sciences

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Molecular and Cell Biology
Washington University - 1978
B.S. - Biology
Case Western Reserve University - 1973

Research Areas

Research Interests
A major focus of study had been the transcriptional regulator, NtrC, which controls the response to nitrogen limitation, the Ntr response. These studies included analysis of NtrC activities, and the structural basis for these activities. A second major focus has been metabolism in E. coli.  These studies have analyzed, and in some cases discovered, several catabolic pathways (for arginine, aminobutyrate, cysteine, ornithine, purines, and putrescine), and a few biosynthetic enzymes (for alanine, and for transaminases in lysine and arginine synthesis). Current research is focused on study of the relation between metabolism and virulence in Escherichia coli, especially strains that cause urinary tract infections. These painful and common infections can recur, and they become increasingly antibiotic resistant. Rapid growth of uropathogenic E. coli is a virulence factor. We are analyzing the requirement for such rapid growth. The long-term goal is to develop antimetabolites that impair growth and could work independently or in conjunction with antibiotics to eradicate the urinary tract infections, especially recurrent infections.

 Dr. Reitzer’s research involves the regulation of gene expression and metabolism in Escherichia coli, especially  and uropathogenic E. coli bacteria with a focus on responses to environmental stresses, such as nitrogen limitation, and bacterial motility. 


Anaerobic Cysteine Degradation and Potential Metabolic Coordination in Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli. 2017 - Journal Article
Death by Cystine: an Adverse Emergent Property from a Beneficial Series of Reactions. 2015 - Journal Article
The redundant aminotransferases in lysine and arginine synthesis and the extent of aminotransferase redundancy in Escherichia coli. 2014 - Journal Article
Putrescine catabolism is a metabolic response to several stresses in Escherichia coli. 2013 - Journal Article
Pathway and enzyme redundancy in putrescine catabolism in Escherichia coli. 2012 - Journal Article
Cysteine catabolism and cysteine desulfhydrase (CdsH/STM0458) in Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium. 2012 - Journal Article
Genetics and regulation of the major enzymes of alanine synthesis in Escherichia coli. 2010 - Journal Article
Rrp2, a sigma54-dependent transcriptional activator of Borrelia burgdorferi, activates rpoS in an enhancer-independent manner. 2009 - Journal Article