Eliza Nieweglowska

Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
University of California, San Francisco
600 16th St., Room S414
San Francisco CA
(415) 476-9375


My research focuses on understanding the formation of a novel structure by ΦKZ-like jumbo bacteriophage ΦPA3 while infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Upon infection, the bacteriophage forms a dynamic, bipolar spindle within the host using a divergent tubulin family protein, phage tubulin/FtsZ or PhuZ. This spindle is important for infectivity and centers the phage DNA. The phage DNA, along with the DNA replication machinery, is found inside of a proteinaceous compartment. This irregularly shaped compartment grows continuously over the course of infection, reaching up to half the host cell size or about 0.5 μm in diameter. The dramatic compartment growth appears to accommodate the replicating DNA, however for the compartment to grow it must incorporate new material; how this happens is not known. Using an in vitro approach coupled with direct visualization using electron microscopy, I am working towards understanding the mechanisms underlying the remarkable formation and growth of this DNA-containing compartment.


Fossati A, Mozumdar D, Kokontis C, Mèndez-Moran M, Nieweglowska E, Pelin A, Li Y, Guo B, Krogan NJ, Agard DA, Bondy-Denomy J, Swaney DL. Next-generation proteomics for quantitative Jumbophage-bacteria interaction mapping. Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 24;14(1):5156. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40724-w. PMID: 37620325; PMCID: PMC10449902.

Nieweglowska ES, Brilot AF, Méndez-Moran M, Kokontis C, Baek M, Li J, Cheng Y, Baker D, Bondy-Denomy J, Agard DA. The ϕPA3 phage nucleus is enclosed by a self-assembling 2D crystalline lattice. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 18;14(1):927. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-36526-9. PMID: 36807264; PMCID: PMC9938867.

Mendoza SD, Nieweglowska ES, Govindarajan S, Leon LM, Berry JD, Tiwari A, Chaikeeratisak V, Pogliano J, Agard DA, Bondy-Denomy J. A bacteriophage nucleus-like compartment shields DNA from CRISPR nucleases. Nature. 2020 Jan;577(7789):244-248. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1786-y. Epub 2019 Dec 9. PMID: 31819262; PMCID: PMC6949375.

Chaikeeratisak V, Khanna K, Nguyen KT, Sugie J, Egan ME, Erb ML, Vavilina A, Nonejuie P, Nieweglowska E, Pogliano K, Agard DA, Villa E, Pogliano J. Viral Capsid Trafficking along Treadmilling Tubulin Filaments in Bacteria. Cell. 2019 Jun 13;177(7):1771-1780.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.032. PMID: 31199917; PMCID: PMC7301877.