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Muthiah Kumaraswami

Muthiah Kumaraswami
Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute · Pathology and Genomic Medicine

PhD

About

54
Publications
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1,019
Citations

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Pathogenic streptococci require manganese for survival in the host. In response to invading pathogens, the host recruits nutritional immune effectors at infection sites to withhold manganese from the pathogens and control bacterial growth. The manganese scarcity impairs several streptococcal processes including oxidative stress defenses, de novo DN...
Article
Full-text available
Tissue injury is typically accompanied by inflammation. In Drosophila melanogaster, wound-induced inflammation involves adhesive capture of hemocytes at the wound surface followed by hemocyte spreading to assume a flat, lamellar morphology. The factors that mediate this cell spreading at the wound site are not known. Here, we discover a role for th...
Preprint
Tissue injury is typically accompanied by inflammation. In Drosophila melanogaster , wound-induced inflammation involves adhesive capture of hemocytes at the wound surface followed by hemocyte spreading to assume a flat, lamellar morphology. The factors that mediate this cell spreading at the wound site are not known. Here, we discover a role for t...
Article
Full-text available
There is concern about second and subsequent waves of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus occurring in communities globally that had an initial disease wave. Metropolitan Houston, TX, with a population of 7 million, is experiencing a massive second disease wave that began in late May 2020. To understand SARS-CoV-2 molecular population gen...
Preprint
Full-text available
We sequenced the genomes of 5,085 SARS-CoV-2 strains causing two COVID-19 disease waves in metropolitan Houston, Texas, an ethnically diverse region with seven million residents. The genomes were from viruses recovered in the earliest recognized phase of the pandemic in Houston, and an ongoing massive second wave of infections. The virus was origin...
Article
Full-text available
Colonization by pathogenic bacteria depends on their ability to overcome host nutritional defenses and acquire nutrients. The human pathogen group A streptococcus (GAS) encounters host defense factor calprotectin (CP) during infection. CP inhibits GAS growth in vitro by imposing zinc (Zn) limitation. However, GAS counterstrategies to combat CP-medi...
Preprint
We sequenced the genomes of 320 SARS-CoV-2 strains from COVID-19 patients in metropolitan Houston, Texas, an ethnically diverse region with seven million residents. These genomes were from the viruses causing infections in the earliest recognized phase of the pandemic affecting Houston. Substantial viral genomic diversity was identified, which we i...
Article
Full-text available
Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes a significant disease burden worldwide, and a meteoric rise in its multidrug resistance has reduced the efficacy of antibiotics previously or currently approved for therapy of gonorrheal infections. The multidrug efflux pump MtrCDE transports multiple drugs and host-derived antimicrobials from the bacterial cell and con...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria control gene expression in concert with their population density by a process called quorum sensing, which is modulated by bacterial chemical signals and environmental factors. In the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, production of secreted virulence factor SpeB is controlled by a quorum-sensing pathway and environmental pH. The quoru...
Article
Full-text available
Pathogenic bacteria encounter host-imposed manganese (Mn) limitation during infection. Herein we report that in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, the adaptive response to Mn limitation is controlled by a DtxR family metalloregulator, MtsR. Genes upregulated by MtsR during Mn limitation include Mn (mtsABC) and Fe acquisition systems (sia op...
Article
Full-text available
Streptococcus pyogenes causes 700 million human infections annually worldwide, yet, despite a century of intensive effort, there is no licensed vaccine against this bacterium. Although a number of large-scale genomic studies of bacterial pathogens have been published, the relationships among the genome, transcriptome, and virulence in large bacteri...
Article
Full-text available
The control of virulence regulator/sensor kinase (CovRS) two-component system is critical to the infectivity of group A streptococcus (GAS), and CovRS inactivating mutations are frequently observed in GAS strains causing severe human infections. CovS modulates the phosphorylation status and with it the regulatory effect of its cognate regulator Cov...
Data
PrtS gene transcript level in various CovR/S isoallelic strains. Transcript levels (means ± standard deviations; n = 4) of prtS in the CovR/S-deleted or mutated strains relative to those of the wild type, as measured by TaqMan qRT-PCR. Strains were grown in THY to mid-exponential phase. * = P < 0.05 for gene transcript level in indicated strain rel...
Data
Influence of CovR~P on transcript levels of genes representing distinct classes. (A) Schematic depiction of CovR~P levels in the indicated GAS strains. Values were derived from previous Phostag-Western blot analyses of CovR~P status. (B-D) Transcript levels (means ± standard deviations; n = 4) of indicated genes that are representative for distinct...
Data
Selected genes differentially regulated in the indicated strains compared to respective wild type strain. (DOCX)
Data
Milk plate assay. SpeB protease activity was assessed by the size of a clear zone around the bacterial growth on casein milk agar plates. Strains shown clockwise are WT = MGAS10870 (M3-WT), R66H = M3-CovR-R66H, L155I = M3-CovR-L155I, A81T = M3-CovR-A81T, P285S = M3-CovS-P285S, and ΔS = M3ΔcovS. (TIF)
Data
Plasmids, primers and probes. (DOCX)
Data
DNase activity of wild-type and CovS-T284A derivatives. DNase activity of culture supernatants was determined as described in the Materials and Methods. Shown is mean ± standard deviation of residual DNA following incubation with filtered supernatant of indicated strains. Experiments were performed in triplicate on two separate days. * = P < 0.05 f...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial virulence factor production is a highly coordinated process. The temporal pattern of bacterial gene expression varies in different host anatomic sites to overcome niche-specific challenges. The human pathogen group A streptococcus (GAS) produces a potent secreted protease, SpeB, that is crucial for pathogenesis. Recently, we discovered th...
Article
Group A Streptococccus (GAS) is a major human pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality. Zinc is an essential trace element required for GAS growth, however, zinc can be toxic at excess concentration. The bacterial strategies to maintain zinc sufficiency without incurring zinc toxicity plays a crucial role in host-GAS interactions an...
Article
Full-text available
Successful pathogens use complex signaling mechanisms to monitor their environment and reprogram global gene expression during specific stages of infection. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a major human pathogen that causes significant disease burden worldwide. A secreted cysteine protease known as streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB) is a key...
Article
Full-text available
There is an urgent need for a human vaccine to protect against diseases caused by human pathogen, group A streptococcus (GAS). Herein, we identified the key molecular players involved in the battle between the host and invading bacteria for the critical nutrient zinc. The host recruits calprotectin at GAS infection sites to limit zinc availability...
Article
Full-text available
Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a human-only pathogen that causes a spectrum of disease conditions. Given its survival in inflamed lesions, the ability to sense and overcome oxidative stress is critical for GAS pathogenesis. PerR senses oxidative stress and coordinates the regulation of genes involved in GAS antioxidant defenses. In this study, we i...
Article
Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a human-only pathogen that causes a spectrum of disease conditions. Given its survival in inflamed lesions, the ability to sense and overcome oxidative stress is critical for GAS pathogenesis. PerR senses oxidative stress and coordinates the regulation of genes involved in GAS antioxidant defenses. In this study, we i...
Article
Importance: The modulation of gene transcription is key to the ability of bacterial pathogens to infect and cause disease. Here, we not only discovered that the group A Streptococcus transcription factor RivR negatively regulates the ability of this pathogen to survive in human blood, but also began a biochemical characterization of this protein....
Article
The members of RRNPP family of bacterial regulators sense population density-specific secreted oligopeptides and modulate the expression of genes involved in cellular processes, such as sporulation, competence, virulence, biofilm formation, conjugative plasmid transfer and antibiotic resistance. Signaling by RRNPP regulators includes several steps:...
Article
Full-text available
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an exclusive human pathogen that causes significant disease burden. Global regulator RopB of GAS controls the expression of several major virulence factors including secreted protease SpeB during high cell density. However, the molecular mechanism for RopB-dependent speB expression remains unclear. To understand the m...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: More than half a million deaths each year are a consequence of infections caused by the group A Streptococcus (GAS). Insights into how this pathogen regulates the production of proteins during infection may facilitate the development of novel therapeutic or preventative regimes aimed at inhibiting this activity. Here, we have expanded...
Article
Full-text available
Whole genome sequencing analysis of ∼ 800 strains of group A Streptococcus (GAS) found that the gene encoding multiple virulence gene regulator of GAS (mga) is highly polymorphic in serotype M59 strains but not other serotypes. To help understand the molecular mechanism of gene regulation by Mga and its contribution to GAS pathogenesis in serotype...
Article
Full-text available
Altering zinc bioavailability to bacterial pathogens is a key component of host innate immunity. Thus, the ability to sense and adapt to the alterations in zinc concentrations is critical for bacterial survival and pathogenesis. To understand the adaptive responses of group A Streptococcus (GAS) to zinc limitation and its regulation by AdcR, we cha...
Article
Full-text available
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common source of genetic variation within a species; however, few investigations demonstrate how naturally occurring SNPs may increase strain virulence. We recently used group A Streptococcus as a model pathogen to study bacteria strain genotype-patient disease phenotype relationships. Whole-genom...
Article
Full-text available
We previously described a gene signature for breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) derived from patient biopsies. Selective shRNA knockdown identified ribosomal protein L39 (RPL39) and myeloid leukemia factor 2 (MLF2) as the top candidates that affect BCSC self-renewal. Knockdown of RPL39 and MLF2 by specific siRNA nanoparticles in patient-derived and h...
Article
Full-text available
Humans commonly carry pathogenic bacteria asymptomatically, but the molecular factors underlying microbial asymptomatic carriage are poorly understood. We previously reported that two epidemiologically unassociated serotype M3 group A Streptococcus (GAS) carrier strains had an identical 12-bp deletion in the promoter of the gene encoding Mga, a glo...
Article
Full-text available
The expression of mepA, encoding the Staphylococcus aureus MepA multidrug efflux protein, is repressed by the MarR homologue MepR. MepR dimers bind differently to operators upstream of mepR and mepA, with affinity being greatest at the mepA operator. MepR substitution mutations may result in mepA overexpression, with A103V most common in clinical s...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation of oxidative stress responses by the peroxide stress regulator (PerR) is critical for the in vivo fitness and virulence of group A Streptococcus. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of DNA binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation by PerR, we performed biochemical and structural characterization of PerR. Sequence-specific DNA bindi...
Article
Full-text available
Whole-genome sequencing of serotype M3 group A streptococci (GAS) from oropharyngeal and invasive infections in Ontario recently showed that the gene encoding regulator of protease B (RopB) is highly polymorphic in this population. To test the hypothesis that ropB is under diversifying selective pressure among all serotype M3 GAS strains, we sequen...
Article
Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB) is an extracellular cysteine protease that is a critical virulence factor made by the major human pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS). speB expression is dependent on the regulator of proteinase B (RopB) and is upregulated with increasing cell density and during infection. Because computer modelling sugges...
Article
Full-text available
Sequencing of invasive strains of group A streptococci (GAS) has revealed a diverse array of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding the control of virulence regulator (CovR) protein. However, there is limited information regarding the molecular mechanisms by which CovR single amino acid replacements impact GAS pathogenesis. The crysta...
Article
Full-text available
Gene expression during lytic development of bacteriophage Mu occurs in three phases: early, middle, and late. Transcription from the middle promoter, P(m), requires the phage-encoded activator protein Mor and the bacterial RNA polymerase. The middle promoter has a -10 hexamer, but no -35 hexamer. Instead P(m) has a hyphenated inverted repeat that s...
Article
Low G+C Gram-positive bacteria typically contain multiple LacI/GalR regulator family members, which often have highly similar amino-terminal DNA binding domains, suggesting significant overlap in target DNA sequences. The LacI/GalR family regulator catabolite control protein A (CcpA) is a global regulator of the Group A Streptococcus (GAS) transcri...
Article
Full-text available
Infection with different strains of the same species of bacteria often results in vastly different clinical outcomes. Despite extensive investigation, the genetic basis of microbial strain-specific virulence remains poorly understood. Recent whole-genome sequencing has revealed that SNPs are the most prevalent form of genetic diversity among differ...
Article
Full-text available
The segregation of plasmid DNA typically requires three elements: a DNA centromere site, an NTPase, and a centromere-binding protein. Because of their simplicity, plasmid partition systems represent tractable models to study the molecular basis of DNA segregation. Unlike eukaryotes, which utilize the GTPase tubulin to segregate DNA, the most common...
Article
The multidrug-binding transcription regulator BmrR from Bacillus subtilis is a MerR family member that binds to a wide array of cationic lipophilic toxins to activate the transcription of the multidrug efflux pump gene bmr. Transcription activation from the sigma(A)-dependent bmr operator requires BmrR to remodel the nonoptimal 19-bp spacer between...
Article
Full-text available
MepR is a multidrug binding transcription regulator that represses expression of the Staphylococcus aureus multidrug efflux pump gene, mepA, as well as its own gene. MepR is induced by multiple cationic toxins, which are also substrates of MepA. In order to understand the gene regulatory and drug-binding mechanisms of MepR, we carried out biochemic...
Article
Full-text available
Transcription from the middle promoter, Pm, of bacteriophage Mu requires the phage-encoded activator protein Mor and bacterial RNA polymerase. Mor is a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein that mediates transcription activation through its interactions with the C-terminal domains of the alpha and sigma subunits of bacterial RNA polymerase. Here we...

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