Mary Ko

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (6)20.98 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To compare the efficacy of both commercially available and emerging urinary catheter technologies in relation to their effects on bacteriuria caused by Escherichia coli in vitro. Antiseptic urinary catheters have recently become commercially available and others are in the developmental stage. Silver alloy-coated catheters, antibiotic Nitrofurazone (NF)-coated catheters, and nitric oxide (NO)-coated catheters were tested against a noncoated control for their antiseptic ability. Inhibition of bacterial growth, biofilm formation, and the number of live bacteria within the biofilm, using up to 10(3) bacterial load were evaluated. Experiments were performed either in E. coli containing Luria broth media or in urine infected with E. coli. NF- and NO-coated catheters had equivalent antimicrobial activity and eradicated all bacteria in planktonic and biofilm states. Silver-coated catheters had no effect on E. coli growth or biofilm formation compared with the control, although silver-coated catheters did inhibit bacterial levels within the biofilm by 50%. NF- and NO-coated catheters are highly effective in preventing planktonic growth and biofilm formation. Silver-coated catheters were not found to be effective in this study.
    Urology 08/2011; 78(2):334-9. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The galactofuran region of the mycobacterial cell wall consists of alternating 5- and 6-linked beta-d-galactofuranose (beta-D-Galf) residues, essential for viability. UDP-galactofuranose (UDP-Galf), the donor for Galf, is synthesised from UDP-galactopyranose (UDP-Galp) by the enzyme UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM), which is not found in humans, rendering it a therapeutic target. The in vitro properties, i.e. enzymatic activity, antimycobacterial activity, cellular toxicity, activity in mycobacterial-infected macrophages and activity against non-replicating persistent mycobacteria, of (4-chlorophenyl)-[1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl]-methanone and 3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-[4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-thiazol-2-ylamino]-propionic acid were studied. The former compound, a pyrazole, was an inhibitor of UGM from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Klebsiella pneumoniae and was effective against Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium bovis BCG and M. tuberculosis but ineffective against other bacterial strains tested. This compound showed potency against mycobacteria in infected macrophages but exhibited moderate cellular toxicity and was ineffective against non-replicating persistent mycobacteria. This is the first report of a compound both with UGM inhibitory properties and broad antimycobacterial activities. The latter compound, an aminothiazole, was active against UGM from K. pneumoniae and M. tuberculosis but was ineffective against M. bovis BCG or M. tuberculosis as well as demonstrating higher cellular toxicity. These data validate the choice of UGM as a target for active antimycobacterial therapy and confirm the pyrazole compound as a viable lead candidate.
    International journal of antimicrobial agents 10/2010; 36(4):364-8. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Catheter-associated urinary tract infection is the most prevalent cause of nosocomial infections. Bacteria associated with biofilm formation play a key role in the morbidity and pathogenesis of these infections. Nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally produced free radical with proven bactericidal effect. In this study, Foley urinary catheters were impregnated with gaseous NO. The catheters demonstrated slow release of nitric oxide over a 14-day period. The charged catheters were rendered antiseptic, and as such, were able to prevent bacterial colonization and biofilm formation on their luminal and exterior surfaces. In addition, we observed that NO-impregnated catheters were able to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli within the surrounding media, demonstrating the ability to eradicate a bacterial concentration of up to 10(4) CFU/ml.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 11/2009; 54(1):273-9. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycothiol (MSH, AcCys-GlcN-Ins) is the major low molecular weight thiol in actinomycetes and is essential for growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. MshB, the GlcNAc-Ins deacetylase, is a key enzyme in MSH biosynthesis. MshB from M. tuberculosis was cloned, expressed, purified, and its properties characterized. Values of k(cat) and K(m) for MshB were determined for the biological substrate, GlcNAc-Ins, and several other good substrates. The substrate specificity of MshB was compared to that of M. tuberculosis mycothiol S-conjugate amidase (Mca), a homologous enzyme having weak GlcNAc-Ins deacetylase activity. Both enzymes are metalloamidases with overlapping amidase activity toward mycothiol S-conjugates (AcCySR-GlcN-Ins). The Ins residue and hydrophobic R groups enhance the activity with both MshB and Mca, but changes in the acyl group attached to GlcN have opposite effects on the two enzymes.
    Protein Expression and Purification 07/2006; 47(2):542-50. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The function of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis eukaryotic-like protein serine/threonine kinase PknG was investigated by gene knock-out and by expression and biochemical analysis. The pknG gene (Rv0410c), when cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, encodes a functional kinase. An in vitro kinase assay of the recombinant protein demonstrated that PknG can autophosphorylate its kinase domain as well as its 30 kDa C-terminal portion, which contains a tetratricopeptide (TPR) structural signalling motif. Western analysis revealed that PknG is located in the cytosol as well as in mycobacterial membrane. The pknG gene was inactivated by allelic exchange in M. tuberculosis. The resulting mutant strain causes delayed mortality in SCID mice and displays decreased viability both in vitro and upon infection of BALB/c mice. The reduced growth of the mutant was more pronounced in the stationary phase of the mycobacterial growth cycle and when grown in nutrient-depleted media. The PknG-deficient mutant accumulates glutamate and glutamine. The cellular levels of these two amino acids reached approximately threefold of their parental strain levels. Higher cellular levels of the amine sugar-containing molecules, GlcN-Ins and mycothiol, which are derived from glutamate, were detected in the DeltapknG mutant. De novo glutamine synthesis was shown to be reduced by 50%. This is consistent with current knowledge suggesting that glutamine synthesis is regulated by glutamate and glutamine levels. These data support our hypothesis that PknG mediates the transfer of signals sensing nutritional stress in M. tuberculosis and translates them into metabolic adaptation.
    Molecular Microbiology 07/2004; 52(6):1691-702. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycothiol (MSH; 1D-myo-inosityl 2-[N-acetyl-L-cysteinyl]amido-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside) is the major low-molecular-weight thiol produced by mycobacteria. Mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc(2)155 deficient in MSH production were produced by chemical mutagenesis as well as by transposon mutagenesis. One chemical mutant (mutant I64) and two transposon mutants (mutants Tn1 and Tn2) stably deficient in MSH production were isolated by screening for reduced levels of MSH content. The MSH contents of transposon mutants Tn1 and Tn2 were found to be less than 0.1% that of the parent strain, and the MSH content of I64 was found to be 1 to 5% that of the parent strain. All three strains accumulated 1D-myo-inosityl 2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside to levels 20- to 25-fold the level found in the parent strain. The cysteine:1D-myo-inosityl 2-amino-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside ligase (MshC) activities of the three mutant strains were < or =2% that of the parent strain. Phenotypic analysis revealed that these MSH-deficient mutants possess increased susceptibilities to free radicals and alkylating agents and to a wide range of antibiotics including erythromycin, azithromycin, vancomycin, penicillin G, rifamycin, and rifampin. Conversely, the mutants possess at least 200-fold higher levels of resistance to isoniazid than the wild type. We mapped the mutation in the chemical mutant by sequencing the mshC gene and showed that a single amino acid substitution (L205P) is responsible for reduced MSH production and its associated phenotype. Our results demonstrate that there is a direct correlation between MSH depletion and enhanced sensitivity to toxins and antibiotics.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 12/2002; 46(11):3348-55. · 4.57 Impact Factor