Faculty Directory
Danielle Tullman-Ercek


Ph.D Chemical Engineering, University of Texas - Austin, Austin, TX

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

Research Interests

My group is interested in controlling the movement of materials across biological membranes, with a goal of enabling and enhancing the production of pharmaceuticals, biofuels, and materials in microbes. Manipulating the transport of electrons, small molecules, and even signals across these cellular boundaries is a vital component of most synthetic biology applications, and we are developing the tools and methods to engineer membrane proteins and other protein superstructures to meet this grand challenge.

Selected Publications

    Bolded names indicate co-authors that were undergraduate researchers

    DeLisa M.P., Tullman D., Georgiou G. (2003) “Folding quality control in the export of proteins by the bacterial twin-arginine translocation pathway.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100: 6115-20.

    Lee, P.A., Tullman-Ercek D., Georgiou G. (2006) “The bacterial twin-arginine translocation pathway.” Ann. Rev. of Microbiol. 60: 373-95.

    Tullman-Ercek D., DeLisa M.P., Kawarasaki Y., Iranpour P., Ribnicky B., Palmer T., Georgiou G. (2007) “Export pathway selectivity of Escherichia coli twin-arginine translocation signal peptides.” J. Biol. Chem. 282(11): 8309-16.

    Temme K.T., Salis H., Tullman-Ercek D., Levskaya A., Hong S.H., Voigt C.A. (2008) “Induction and relaxation dynamics of the regulatory network controlling the type III secretion system encoded within Salmonella pathogenicity island I.” J. Mol. Biol. 377:47-61.

    Fisher A.C., Kim J.Y., Tullman-Ercek D., Henderson L.A., DeLisa M.P. (2008) “Exploration of twin-arginine translocation for expression and purification of correctly folded proteins in Escherichia coli.” Microbial Biotechnol. 1(5):403-15.

    Widmaier D.W.,  Tullman-Ercek D., Mirsky E.A., Hill R., Govindarajan S., Minshull J., Voigt C.A. (2009) “Engineering the Salmonella type III secretion system to export spider silk monomers.”  Mol. Syst. Biol. 5:309.

    Lee Y.F., Hsieh H.Y., Tullman-Ercek D., Chiang T.K., Turner R.J., Lin S.C. (2010) “Enhanced translocation of recombinant proteins via the Tat pathway with chaperones in Escherichia coli.” J. Taiwan Inst. Chem. Eng. 41(5):540-6. [Awarded Paper of the Year for this journal.]

    Bokinsky G., Peralta-Yahya P.P., George A., Holmes B.M., Steen E.J., Dietrich J., Soon Lee T., Tullman-Ercek D., Voigt C.A., Simmons B.A., Keasling J.D. (2011) “Synthesis of three advanced biofuels from ionic liquid-pretreated switchgrass using engineered Escherichia coli.PNAS. 108(50): 19949-54.

    Glasgow J.E., Capehart S.L., Francis M.B., Tullman-Ercek D. (2012) “Osmolyte-mediated encapsulation of proteins inside MS2 viral capsids.” ACS Nano 6(10):8658-64.

    Kim E.Y., Tullman-Ercek D. (2012) “Engineering nanoscale protein compartments for synthetic organelles.” Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 24(4):627-32.

    Fisher M.A., Tullman-Ercek D. (2013) “Change, exchange, and rearrange: protein engineering for the biotechnological production of fuels, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals.” Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 24(6):1010-6.

    Reyes-Ortiz V., Heins R.A., Cheng G., Kim E.Y., Vernon B.C., Elandt R.B., Adams P.A., Sale K.L., Hadi M.Z., Simmons B.A., Kent M.S., Tullman-Ercek D. (2013) “Addition of a carbohydrate-binding module enhances cellulase penetration into cellulose substrate.” Biotechnol. Biofuels 6(1):93.

    Tullman-Ercek D. (2013) “An assay for the bacterial sweet spot.” Biotechnol J. 8(12):1377-8. [Invited commentary]

    Fisher M.A., Boyarskiy, S., Yamada M.R., Kong N., Bauer, S.A., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “Enhancing tolerance to short-chain alcohols by engineering Escherichia coli AcrB to secrete the non-native substrate n-butanol.” ACS Syn. Bio. 3(1):30-40. [Cover article January 2014; Featured in C&ENews September 2013.]

    Kim E.Y., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “A rapid flow cytometry assay for the relative quantification of protein encapsulation into bacterial microcompartments.” Biotechnol. J. 9(3): 348-54.

    Glasgow J.E., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “Production and applications of engineered viral capsids.” Applied Microbiol. Biotechnol. 98(13):5847-58.

    Kim E.Y., Slininger M.Y., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “The effects of time, temperature, and pH on the stability of Pdu bacterial microcompartments.” Prot. Sci. 23(10):1434-41.

    Metcalf K.J., Finnerty C., Azam A., Valdivia E., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “Using transcriptional control to increase titer of secreted heterologous proteins by the type III secretion system.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(19):5927-34.

    Kim E.Y., Jakobson C.M., Tullman-Ercek D. (2014) “Engineering transcriptional regulation to control Pdu bacterial microcompartment formation.” PLOS One 9(11):e113814.

    Tullman-Ercek D. (2015) “Metabolism: ‘Channeling’ Hans Krebs.” Nat. Chem. Biol. 11(3):180-1. [Invited commentary]

    Glasgow J.E., Asensio M.A., Jakobson C.M., Francis M.B., Tullman-Ercek D. (2015) “The influence of electrostatics on small molecule flux through a protein nanoreactor.” ACS Syn. Bio. 4(9):1011-9.

    Boyarskiy S., Tullman-Ercek D. (2015) “Getting pumped: Membrane efflux transporters for enhanced biomolecule production.” Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 28:15-9.

    Jakobson C.M., Kim E.Y., Slininger M.F., Chien A., Tullman-Ercek D. (2015) “Localization of proteins to the 1,2-propanediol utilization microcompartment by non-native signal sequences is mediated by a common hydrophobic motif.” J. Biol. Chem. 290(40):24519-33.

    Azam A., Metcalf K.J., Li C., Tullman-Ercek D. (2016) “Type III secretion as a generalizable strategy for the development of peptide-based biomaterials.” Biotechnol. Bioeng. 113(11):2313-20.

    Boyarskiy S, Davis López S, Kong N, Tullman-Ercek D. (2016) “Transcriptional feedback regulation of efflux protein expression for increased tolerance to and production of n-butanol.” Metab. Eng. 33: 130-7.

    Azam A., Tullman-Ercek D. (2016) “Type-III secretion filaments as scaffolds for inorganic nanostructures.” J. R. Soc. Interface 13(114):20150938.

    Jakobson C.M., Tullman-Ercek D. (2016) “Dumpster diving in the gut: bacterial microcompartments as part of a host-associated lifestyle.” PLoS Pathogens 12(5):e1005558.

    Jakobson C.M., Chen Y., Slininger M.F., Valdivia E., Kim E.Y., Tullman-Ercek D. (2016) “Tuning the catalytic activity of subcellular nanoreactors.” J. Mol. Biol. 28(15):2989-96.

    Asensio M., Morella N., Jakobson C.M., Hartman E.C., Glasgow J.E., Sankaran B., Zwart P.H., Tullman-Ercek D. “A single-point mutation in the capsid protein alters the assembled geometry of the bacteriophage MS2 capsid.” Nano Letters 16(9):5944-50.

    Metcalf K.J., Bevington J.L., Rosales S.L., Valdivia E., Tullman-Ercek D. “Proteins adapt a functionally active conformation in the media following type III secretion.” (Submitted).