Aixin Yan

Aixin Yan
The University of Hong Kong | HKU · School of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

67
Publications
16,009
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1,881
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - present
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Biological Sciences Laboratory Course Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry Clinical Microbiology and Applied Immunology
July 2008 - present
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Adaptation to changing environments is essential to bacterial physiology. Here we report a unique role of the copper homeostasis system in adapting Escherichia coli to its host-relevant environment of anaerobiosis coupled with amino acid limitation. We found that expression of the copper/silver efflux pump CusCFBA was significantly upregulated duri...
Article
Full-text available
Drug efflux represents an important protection mechanism in bacteria to withstand antibiotics and environmental toxic substances. Efflux genes constitute 6–18% of all transporters in bacterial genomes, yet the expression and functions of only a handful of them have been studied. Among the 20 efflux genes encoded in the Escherichia coli K-12 genome,...
Article
Full-text available
3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid-lipid A (Kdo2 -lipid A) is the essential component of lipopolysaccharide in most Gram-negative bacteria and the minimal structural component to sustain bacterial viability. It serves as the active component of lipopolysaccharide to stimulate potent host immune responses through the complex of Toll-like-receptor 4 (T...
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Modification of lipid A with the 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose (l-Ara4N) moiety is required for resistance to polymyxin and cationic antimicrobial peptides in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. An operon of seven genes (designated pmrHFIJKLM in S. typhimurium), which is regulated by the PmrA transcription factor and is also present in E. co...
Article
The surfaces of historical stone monuments are visibly covered with a layer of colonizing microorganisms and their degradation products. In this study, a metadata analysis was conducted using the microbial sequencing data available from NCBI database to determine the diversity, biodeterioration potential and functionality of the stone microbiome on...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bacteria adapt to the constantly changing environments largely by transcriptional regulation through the activities of various transcription factors (TFs). However, techniques that monitor the in situ TF-promoter interactions in living bacteria are lacking. Herein, we developed a whole-cell TF-promoter binding assay based on the intermolecular Förs...
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Infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa are life-threatening due to its synergistic resistance mechanisms resulting in the ineffectiveness of the used antimicrobials. This study aimed to characterize P. aeruginosa isolates for antimicrobial susceptibility, biofilm formation virulence genes, and molecular mechanisms responsi...
Article
The ancient Angkorian sandstone monuments in Cambodia are well known for biodeterioration of the sandstone under tropic climate. This study examined ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB and Comammox) and archaea (AOA) in stone-dwelling microbiome from three important Angkor monuments, namely Angor Wat, Bayon of Angkor Thom, and Preah Vihear, by DNA-base...
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The Class 1 type I CRISPR–Cas systems represent the most abundant and diverse CRISPR systems in nature. However, their applications for generic genome editing have been hindered due to difficulties of introducing the class-specific, multi-component effectors (Cascade) in heterologous hosts for functioning. Here we established a transferrable Cascad...
Article
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The rapid emergence of drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( S. aureus ) poses a serious threat to public health globally. Silver (Ag)-based antimicrobials are promising to combat antibiotic resistant S. aureus , yet their molecular targets are largely elusive. Herein, we separate and identify 38 authentic Ag ⁺ -binding proteins in S. aureus at th...
Article
Coral mucus, tissue, and skeleton harbor compositionally different microbiota, but how these coral compartments shape the microbial evolution remains unexplored. Here, we sampled bacteria inhabiting a prevalent coral species Platygyra acuta and sequenced genomes of 234 isolates comprising two populations in Rhodobacteraceae, an alphaproteobacterial...
Article
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Antibiotic subsistence in bacteria represents an alternative resistance machinery, while paradoxically, it is also a cure for environmental resistance. Antibiotic-subsisting bacteria can detoxify antibiotic-polluted environments and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in environments. However, progress toward efficient in situ engineer...
Article
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EDITORIAL FOR RESEARCH TOPIC: "Structure, Function, and Regulation of Bacterial Efflux Proteins in Metal Homeostasis and Antimicrobial Resistance". BACKGROUND: Bacterial cell membranes contain transport proteins that export metals and potentially harmful compounds (antibiotics, antiseptics, biocides, other xenobiotics) from the cell membrane or cy...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Class 1 type I CRISPR-Cas systems represent the most abundant and diverse CRISPR systems in nature. However, their applications for generic genome editing have been hindered by difficulties of introducing the class-specific, multi-component effectors in heterologous hosts for functioning. Here we established a transferrable Cascade system that...
Article
Full-text available
Background The spread of antibiotic resistance has become one of the most urgent threats to global health, which is estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally. Its surrogates, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), are highly transmittable between food, water, animal, and human to mitigate the efficacy of antibiotics. Accurately identifying...
Article
Recent research on conductive hydrogels has revealed their potential for building advanced soft bioelectronic devices. Their mechanical flexibility, water content, and porosity approach those of biological tissues, providing a compliant interface between the human body and electronic hardware. Conductive hydrogels could be utilized in many soft too...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coral mucus, tissue and skeleton harbor compositionally different microbiota, but how these coral compartments shape the microbial evolution remains unexplored. Here, we focused on the Rhodobacteraceae, which represents a significant but variable proportion (5-50%) of the coral microbiota. We sequenced 234 genomes constituting two divergent populat...
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Full-text available
Global emergence of Gram-negative bacteria carrying the plasmid-borne resistance genes, blaMBL and mcr, raises a significant challenge to the treatment of life-threatening infections by the antibiotics, carbapenem and colistin (COL). Here, we identify an antirheumatic drug, auranofin (AUR) as a dual inhibitor of metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) and mobi...
Article
The high-gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)-producing bacterium Levilactobacillus brevis strain NPS-QW 145, along with Streptococcus thermophilus (one of the two starter bacteria used to make yogurt for its proteolytic activity), enhances GABA production in milk. However, a mechanistic understanding of how Levilactobacillus brevis cooperates with S. t...
Article
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Understanding how metallodrugs interact with their protein targets is of vital importance for uncovering their molecular mode of actions as well as overall pharmacological/toxicological profiles, which in turn facilitates the development of novel metallodrugs. Silver has been used as an antimicrobial agent since antiquity, yet there is limited know...
Article
A drop of seawater contains numerous microspatial niches at the scale relevant to microbial activities. Examples are abiotic niches such as detrital particles that show different sizes and organic contents, and biotic niches resulting from bacteria–phage and bacteria–phytoplankton interactions. A common practice to investigate the impact of microen...
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Repurposing the broadly distributed native CRISPR-Cas systems in prokaryotes for genome editing is emerging as a new strategy for genetic manipulations. We recently reported the establishment of a single plasmid-mediated, one-step genome-editing technique in a multidrug-resistant genotype of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by harn...
Article
Genetic analysis is crucial to the understanding, exploitation, and control of microorganisms. The advent of CRISPR‐Cas‐based genome‐editing techniques, particularly those mediated by the single‐effector (Cas9 and Cas12a) class 2 CRISPR‐Cas systems, has revolutionized the genetics in model eukaryotic organisms. However, their applications in prokar...
Article
Full-text available
Despite being fundamentally important and having direct therapeutic implications, the functional genomics of the clinical isolates of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens is often impeded by the lack of genome-editing tools. Here, we report the establishment of a highly efficient, in situ genome-editing technique applicable in clinical and environme...
Article
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Transition metals serve as an important class of micronutrients that are indispensable for bacterial physiology but are cytotoxic when they are in excess. Bacteria have developed exquisite homeostatic systems to control the uptake, storage, and efflux of each of biological metals and maintain a thermodynamically balanced metal quota. However, wheth...
Article
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Silver has long been used as an antibacterial agent, yet its molecular targets remain largely unknown. Using a custom-designed coupling of gel electrophoresis with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (GE-ICP-MS), we identified six silver-binding proteins in E. coli. The majority of the identified proteins are associated with the central ca...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities of silver, its internal usage is restricted, owing to the toxicity. Strategies to enhance its efficacy are highly desirable but rely heavily on the understanding of its molecular mechanism of action. However, up to now, no direct silver-targeting proteins have been mined at a proteome-wide scale,...
Article
Bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) have to cope with fluctuating oxygen levels during infection within host gastrointestinal tracts. The global transcription factor FNR (fumarate nitrate reduction) plays a vital role in the adaptation of enteric bacteria to the low oxygen environment. Nevertheless,...
Article
Full-text available
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a prevalent and pernicious pathogen equipped with both extraordinary capabilities to infect the host and to develop antimicrobials resistance (AMR). Monitoring the emergence of AMR high risk clones and understanding the interplay of their pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance is of paramount importance to avoid resistanc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a prevalent and pernicious pathogen equipped with both extraordinary capabilities to infect the host and to develop antimicrobials resistance (AMR). Monitoring the emergence of AMR high risk clones and understanding the interplay of their pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance is of paramount importance to avoid resistanc...
Article
Full-text available
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is one of the most used models for bacterial pathogenesis and successful infection requires its adaptation to the low oxygen environment in host gastrointestinal tracts. Central to this process is the Arc (aerobic respiratory control) two-component regulatory system that contains a sensor kin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps belong to a class of membrane transporter proteins that dedicate to the extrusion of a diverse range of substances out of cells including all classes of currently available antibiotics. They constitute an important mechanism of bacterial antibiotic and multidrug resistance. Since many ecological niches of bacteria a...
Article
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Microbiota are found in highly organized and complex entities, known as biofilms, the characteristics of which are fundamentally different from microbes in planktonic suspensions. Root canal infections are biofilm mediated. The complexity and variability of the root canal system, together with the multi-species nature of biofilms, make disinfection...
Article
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Background Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 was isolated from a hospital blood specimen in 1971 and has been widely used as a model strain to survey antibiotics susceptibilities, biofilm development, and metabolic activities of Pseudomonas spp.. Although four draft genomes of P. aeruginosa ATCC 27853 have been sequenced, the complete genome of thi...
Article
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Currency is possibly one of the main media transmitting pathogens and drug resistance due to its wide circulation in daily life. In this study, we made a comprehensive characterization of the bacterial community present on banknotes collected from different geographical regions of Hong Kong (HK) by performing in vitro characterization of the bacter...
Article
Indole is a widely distributed microbial secondary metabolite. It mediates a broad range of physiological processes in both its producing and surrounding species. Yet, indole biosynthesis during the anaerobiosis of bacteria remains largely uncharacterized. Here we find that while indole production is promoted during fermentation and anaerobic respi...
Article
Understanding bacterial physiology relies on elucidating the regulatory mechanisms and cellular functions of those differentially expressed genes in response to environmental changes. A widespread Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane protein OmpW has been implicated in the adaptation to stresses in various species. It is recently found to be pres...
Data
ClustalW alignment of ompW promoter region (-250 to -1 bp upstream of ATG). The sequences from the following bacterial species are aligned: E. coli, Escherichia coli; S. typhimurium, Salmonella typhimurium; Y. pestis, Yersinia pestis; K. pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumonia; E. cloacae, Enterobacter cloacae. Well conserved motifs corresponding to the b...
Data
Phylogenetic tree of 71 representative OmpW amino acid sequences constructed based on Maximum Likelihood (ML) method using MEGA with 100 times of bootstrap test for each node. A database of OmpW protein sequences was made using OmpW (NP_415772.1) of Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655 as reference to blast against the NCBI GenBank. Seventy on...
Article
Two-component systems (TCSs) play important roles in the adaptation of bacteria to stress. Despite their increasingly well understood mechanistic features, it remains poorly understood how TCSs transduce signals across membranes. Here, we use the E. coli Cu/Ag-responsive CusSR TCS as a model to investigate the roles of CusS transmembrane (TM) resid...
Article
Full-text available
Active drug efflux constitutes an important mechanism of antibiotic and multidrug resistance in bacteria. Understanding the distribution, expression, and physiological functions of multidrug efflux pumps, especially under physiologically and clinically relevant conditions of the pathogens, is the key to combat drug resistance. In animal hosts, most...
Article
Full-text available
Multidrug resistance (MDR) refers to the capability of bacterial pathogens to withstand lethal doses of structurally diverse drugs which are capable of eradicating non-resistant strains. MDR has been identified as a major threat to the public health of human being by the World Health Organization (WHO). Among the four general mechanisms that cause...
Article
Full-text available
The gadE-mdtEF operon encodes a central acid resistance regulator GadE and two multidrug efflux proteins MdtEF. Although transcriptional regulation of gadE in the context of acid resistance under the aerobic growth environment of Escherichia coli has been extensively studied, regulation of the operon under the physiologically relevant environment o...
Article
A series of brominated furanones (BFs) with closely related structures was synthesized and evaluated for biofilm inhibition activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). The structure–activity relationships (SARs) indicated that methyl substituent on the furanone ring and on the exocyclic vinyl double bond...
Article
Oxygen has a great impact on the metabolism and physiology of microorganisms. It serves as the most efficient terminal electron acceptor to drive the energy conservation process of cellular respiration and is required in many biosynthetic reactions. Bacteria encounter oxygen fluctuation and limitation during their growth in both natural ecological...
Article
The anaerobic global regulator FNR from Escherichia coli is a [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster-containing dimer that is inactivated by O(2) through disruption of the Fe-S cluster and conversion to the monomeric apoprotein. It was shown that apo-FNR is subject to ClpXP proteolysis, and two recognition sites, amino acids 5-11 and amino acids 249 and 250, are res...
Article
Many key enzymes in biological redox reactions require metal centers or cofactors for optimum activity and function. While the metal centers provide unique properties for protein structure and function, some also render protein activity sensitive to environmental O(2) and cause experimental challenges to isolation and biochemical analysis. Iron-sul...
Article
Many key enzymes in biological redox reactions require metal centers or cofactors for optimum activity and function. While the metal centers provide unique properties for protein structure and function, some also render protein activity sensitive to environmental O2 and cause experimental challenges to isolation and biochemical analysis. Iron–sulfu...
Article
The role of the N-terminal region of the transcription factor FNR, which immediately precedes the first ligand (Cys20) of the [4Fe-4S] cluster, was investigated. We found that truncation mutants that removed residues 2 to 16 and 2 to 17 had wild-type levels of FNR protein but surprisingly altered O2 regulation.
Article
Full-text available
Following initiation of translocation across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum via the translocon, polypeptide chains are N-glycosylated by the oligosaccharyl transferase (OT) enzyme complex. Translocation and N-glycosylation are concurrent events and would be expected to require juxtaposition of the translocon and the OT complex. To determ...
Article
Oligosaccharyl transferase (OT) catalyzes the cotranslational N-glycosylation of nascent polypeptides in the endoplasmic reticulum in all eukaryotic systems. Due to the inherent difficulty in characterizing this membrane protein complex, the mode of enzymatic action has not been resolved. Here, we used a membrane protein two-hybrid approach, the sp...
Article
Full-text available
At present, there is very limited knowledge about the structural organization of the yeast oligosaccharyl transferase (OT) complex and the function of each of its nine subunits. Because of the failure of the yeast two-hybrid system to reveal interactions between luminal domains of these subunits, we utilized a membrane permeable, thiocleavable cros...

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