Mohammed Terrak studied biology at the University of Meknès in Morocco. In 1995, he joined the University of Liège to begin a doctorate under the supervision of Martine Nguyen-Distèche at the Protein Engineering Centre, under the direction of Professor Jean-Marie Frère. During his PhD, he worked on protein 1b, responsible for the formation of the bacterial wall in Escherichia coli. In 2000, Mohammed Terrak went to the United States for four years of post-doctoral study. During his time there, he worked on the biochemistry of proteins in a Structural Biology group at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute. Upon his return to the University of Liège, he obtained a mandate from the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) to pursue his work at the Protein Engineering Centre and became a qualified FNRS researcher in 2006. The goal of his research is to better understand the mechanisms in the formation of the bacterial wall during the cellular cycle with the aim of finding new antibacterial molecules.
Selection of publications
TERRAK M., SAUVAGE E., DEROUAUX A., DEHARENG D., BOUHSS A., BREUKINK E., JEANJEAN S. and NGUYEN-DISTECHE M., Importance of the conserved residues in the peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase module of the class A penicillin-binding protein 1b of Escherichia coli, 2008, J Biol Chem. 283: 28464-28470.
TERRAK M., Peptidoglycan Glycosyltransferase Inhibition: New Perspectives for An Old Target, 2008, Anti-Infective Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 7: 180-192.
DEROUAUX A., WOLF B., FRAIPONT C., BREUKINK E., NGUYEN-DISTECHE M., TERRAK M., The monofunctional glycosyltransferase of Escherichia coli localizes to the cell division site and interacts with the penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3), FtsW and FtsN. 2008, J Bacteriol., 190: 1831-1834.
SAUVAGE E., KERFF F., TERRAK M., AYALA J-A., ChHARLIER P., The penicillin-binding proteins: structure and role in peptidoglycan biosynthesis, 2008, FEMS Microbiol Rev. 32: 234-258.
MÜLLER P., EWERS C., BERTSCHE U., ANSTETT M., KALLIS T., BREUKINK E., FRAIPONT C., TERRAK M., NGUYEN-DISTECHE M., VOLLMER W., The essential cell division protein FtsN interacts with the murein (peptidoglycan) synthase PBP1B in Escherichia coli, 2007, J Biol Chem. 282: 36394-36402
TERRAK M. and NGUYEN-DISTECHE M., Kinetic characterization of the monofunctional glycosyl-transferase from Staphylococcus aureus, 2006, J Bacteriol, 188: 2528-2532