Karen V Swanson

University of Maryland, College Park, CGS, Maryland, United States

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Publications (10)31.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To better understand the role of Opa in gonococcal infections, we created and characterized a derivative of MS11 (MS11Δopa) that had the coding sequence for all 11 Opa proteins deleted. The MS11Δopa bacterium lost the ability to bind to purified lipooligosaccharide (LOS). While nonpiliated MS11Δopa and nonpiliated Opa-expressing MS11 cells grew at the same rate, nonpiliated MS11Δopa cells rarely formed clumps of more than four bacteria when grown in broth with vigorous shaking. Using flow cytometry analysis, we demonstrated that MS11Δopa produced a homogeneous population of bacteria that failed to bind monoclonal antibody (MAb) 4B12, a MAb specific for Opa. Opa-expressing MS11 cells consisted of two predominant populations, where ∼85% bound MAb 4B12 to a significant level and the other population bound little if any MAb. Approximately 90% of bacteria isolated from a phenotypically Opa-negative colony (a colony that does not refract light) failed to bind MAb 4B12; the remaining 10% bound MAb to various degrees. Piliated MS11Δopa cells formed dispersed microcolonies on ME180 cells which were visually distinct from those of piliated Opa-expressing MS11 cells. When Opa expression was reintroduced into MS11Δopa, the adherence ability of the strain recovered to wild-type levels. These data indicate that Opa contributes to both bacterium-bacterium and bacterium-host cell interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Bacteriology
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    ABSTRACT: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea, adheres to and invades into genital epithelial cells. Here, we investigate host components that are used by the bacteria for their entry into epithelial cells. We found that gonococcal microcolony formation on the surface of HEC-1-B cells disrupted the polarized, basolateral distribution of both epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ErbB2, a related family member, and induced their accumulation under the microcolonies at the apical membrane. Gonococcal infection increased EGFR and ErbB2 phosphorylation. The EGFR kinase inhibitor, AG1478, reduced gonococcal invasion by 80%, but had no effect on adherence or the recruitment of EGFR and ErbB2 to the microcolonies. Gonococcal inoculation upregulated the mRNA levels of several ligands of EGFR. Prevention of EGFR ligand shedding by blocking matrix metalloproteinase activation reduced gonococcal invasion without altering their adherence, while the addition of the EGFR ligand, HB-EGF, was able to restore invasion to 66% of control levels. These data indicate that N. gonorrhoeae modulates the activity and cellular distribution of host EGFR, facilitating their invasion. EGFR activation does not appear to be due to direct gonococcal binding to EGFR, but instead by its transactivation by gonococcal induced increases in EGFR ligands.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Cellular Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Neisseria sicca 4320 expresses two carbohydrate-containing components with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis mobilities that resemble those of lipooligosaccharide and lipopolysaccharide. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization—time of flight and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, we characterized a disaccharide carbohydrate repeating unit expressed by this strain. Gas chromatography identified the sugars composing the unit as rhamnose and N-acetyl-d-glucosamine. Glycosidase digestion confirmed the identity of the nonreducing terminal sugar of the disaccharide and established its β-anomeric configuration. Mass spectrometry analysis and lectin binding were used to verify the linkages within the disaccharide repeat. The results revealed that the disaccharide repeat is [-4) β-l-rhamnose (1-3) β-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (1-] with an N-acetyl-d-glucosamine nonreducing terminus. This work is the first structural characterization of a molecule that possesses rhamnose in the genus Neisseria.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Journal of bacteriology
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    ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that bind neisserial lipooligosaccharides (LOS) have been widely used in structural studies of these glycolipids. MAb 2-1-L8 binds LOS with a lactosyl a chain (Gal beta1-4 Glc beta1-4 [Glc-NAc alpha1-2 Hep2 alpha1-3] Hep1 alpha1-KDO) and at least one phosphoethanolamine (PEA) substitution of Hep2, but the requirement for PEA substitution and/or the exact position of this substitution, cyclic or exocyclic, remains unclear. In order to clarify the exact specificity of this MAb, we engineered an isogenic family of lpt mutants that each make LOS with a lactosyl a chain, but that lacked cyclic (-3Hep2), exocyclic (-6Hep2), or any PEA residues. Mass spectrometry showed that mutants that lack either Lpt3 or Lpt6 make small amounts of LOS with two PEA substitutions. Thus, each enzyme is able to phosphoethanolaminylate the alternate site, albeit with low efficiency. LOS made by the mutant that lacked both Lpt3 and Lpt6 was devoid of PEA. LOS made by the deltalpt3 mutant did not bind MAb 2-1-L8 on Western blot analysis, whereas delta pt6 LOS did. Analysis of intact mutants by fluorescence-activated cell sorting confirmed that PEA substitution at 3Hep2, but not at 6Hep2, is needed for optimal binding of MAb 2-1-L8. These data confirm that the MAb 2-1-L8 epitope requires a -3Hep2 cyclic PEA substitution for optimal conformation and that this MAb specifies the PEA-3Hep2 lactosyl LOS structure.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2008 · Hybridoma (2005)
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    ABSTRACT: As research faculty with expertise in the area of host-pathogen interactions (HPI), we used a research group model to effect our professional development as scientific educators. We have established a working hypothesis: The implementation of a curriculum that forms bridges between our seven HPI courses allows our students to achieve deep and meaningful learning of HPI concepts. Working collaboratively, we identified common learning goals, and we chose two microorganisms to serve as anchors for student learning. We instituted variations of published active-learning methods to engage students in research-oriented learning. In parallel, we are developing an assessment tool. The value of this work is in the development of a teaching model that successfully allowed faculty who already work collaboratively in the research area of HPI to apply a "research group approach" to further scientific teaching initiatives at a research university. We achieved results that could not be accomplished by even the most dedicated instructor working in isolation.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · CBE life sciences education
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    ABSTRACT: The inner core of neisserial lipooligosaccharide (LOS) contains heptose residues that can be decorated by phosphoethanolamine (PEA). PEA modification of heptose II (HepII) can occur at the 3, 6, or 7 position(s). We used a genomic DNA sequence of lpt3, derived from Neisseria meningitidis MC58, to search the genomic sequence of N. gonorrhoeae FA1090 and identified a homolog of lpt3 in N. gonorrhoeae. A PCR amplicon containing lpt3 was amplified from F62DeltaLgtA, cloned, mutagenized, and inserted into the chromosome of N. gonorrhoeae strain F62DeltaLgtA, producing strain F62DeltaLgtAlpt3::Tn5. LOS isolated from this strain lost the ability to bind monoclonal antibody (MAb) 2-1-L8. Complementation of this mutation by genetic removal of the transposon insertion restored MAb 2-1-L8 binding. Mass spectrometry analysis of LOS isolated from the F62DeltaLgtA indicated that this strain contained two PEA modifications on its LOS. F62DeltaLgtAlpt3::Tn5 lacked a PEA modification on its LOS, a finding consistent with the hypothesis that lpt3 encodes a protein mediating PEA addition onto gonococcal LOS. The DNA encoding lpt3 was cloned into an expression vector and Lpt3 was purified. Purified Lpt3 was able to mediate the addition of PEA to LOS isolated from F62DeltaLgtAlpt3::Tn5.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · Journal of Bacteriology
  • Karen V Swanson · J McLeod Griffiss
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    ABSTRACT: We determined the optimal conditions for high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD) of oligosaccharides (OS) released from neisserial lipooligosaccharides (LOS) by mild acid hydrolysis. We efficiently obtained detailed composition, sequence, and linkage information about high Mr LOS. We found that HPAE-PAD can discriminate isobaric (same Mr) molecules of different structure, for example, nLc4 and Gb4, distinguish alpha from beta chain extensions, and determine the number of phosphoethanolamine (PEA) substituents. HPAE-PAD provided quantitative information that could be used to compare the relative abundances of OS. We used HPAE-PAD to identify all of the known LOS alpha chain antennae. When used with antibody-binding profiles and exoglycosidase digestion results, HPAE-PAD can provide nearly complete structures rapidly.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Carbohydrate Research
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    ABSTRACT: Galectins are a family of beta-galactoside binding proteins that have been proposed as host receptors for bacteria because beta-galactoside carbohydrates are common in bacterial membrane glycolipid lipooligosaccharides (LOS) and lipopolysaccharides. We investigated the interaction of galectin-3 with gonococcal LOS that make lactosyl (Lc2 or Lac), paraglobosyl (nLc4; LNnT; lacto-N-neotetraose), gangliosyl (IV3GalNAcnLc4), and neolactohexaosyl (nLc6, lactonorhexaosyl) oligosaccharides. All but gangliosyl LOS terminate in beta-galactoside. Galectin-3 had the highest affinity for the nLc6 LOS, which is made by a strain that is highly infectious for the male urethra, but also bound nLc4 LOS and to a Lac LOS. The lacto-N-neotetraose tetrasaccharide was a more potent inhibitor of galectin-3 binding to LOS than either lactose or N-acetyllactosamine. The relative affinity of galectin-3 for gonococci mirrored its affinity for purified LOS. Western blot analysis revealed expression of galectin-3 by human endometrial adenocarcinoma and prostatic epithelial cells that can be invaded by gonococci. Immunohistochemistry of human fallopian tube epithelium showed localized expression of galectin-3 by non-ciliated cells, the specific cell gonococci invade in this tissue. We conclude that because of its location and affinity for gonococcal LOS galectin-3 could play a role in gonococcal infection.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2002 · Cellular Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Neisseria gonorrhoeae has a repertoire of up to 11 opacity-associated (Opa) proteins that are adhesins. Most Opa proteins adhere to CEACAM antigens and when CEACAM molecules are present on the surface of transfected epithelial cells their binding by Opa is thought to induce invasion of these cells by gonococci. In this study, we investigated whether several malignant epithelial cell lines, normal cervical and fallopian tube epithelial cell cultures, as well as normal fallopian tube tissue express several of the CEACAM molecules, and whether gonococci use these molecules for adherence and invasion of these female genital epithelial cells. A primary cervical cell culture and metastatic cervical cell line ME180 both expressed CEACAM as shown by whole cell ELISA and flow cytometry, and increased the surface expression of total CEACAM during incubation with Opa+ gonococci. Opa+ gonococci both adhered to and invaded these cells; CEACAM-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) partially abolished this interaction. Two primary fallopian epithelial tube cell cultures, a primary cervical cell culture and two malignant cell lines, HEC-1-B and HeLa, did not express CEACAM nor was CEACAM mRNA present. No evidence of either intracellular or secreted extracellular CEACAM was found with HEC-1-B and HeLa cells. Opa+ gonococci both adhered to and invaded CEACAM non-expressing cells; however, Opa+ gonococcal association with these non-expressing cell lines could not be inhibited with CEACAM-specific MAb. These data show that CEACAM is not always expressed on female genital epithelial cells and is not essential for gonococcal adherence and invasion. However, when CEACAM is expressed, Opa+ gonococci exploit it for the adherence to and invasion of these cells.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2001 · Cellular Microbiology
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    GA Jarvis · J Li · K V Swanson
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    ABSTRACT: Infection of the mucosa by Neisseria gonorrhoeae involves adherence to and invasion of epithelial cells. Little is known, however, about the expression by mucosal epithelial cells of molecules that mediate cellular interactions between epithelial cells and neutrophils at the site of gonococcal infection. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) by epithelial cells during the process of gonococcal invasion. The highly invasive strain FA1090 and the poorly invasive strain MS11 were incubated with human endometrial adenocarcinoma (HEC-1-B) or human cervical carcinoma (ME-180) epithelial cells, after which ICAM-1 expression was measured by flow cytometry. After 15 h of infection with FA1090, expression of ICAM-1 increased 4.7- and 2.1-fold for HEC-1-B and ME-180 cells, respectively, whereas 15 h of infection of HEC-1-B cells with MS11 increased ICAM-1 expression only 1.6-fold. ICAM-1 expression was restricted to the cell surface, since no soluble ICAM-1 was detected. The distribution of staining was heterogeneous and mimicked that seen after treatment of HEC-1-B cells with the ICAM-1 agonist tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in the absence of bacteria. PCR and dot blot analyses of ICAM-1 mRNA showed no change in levels over time in response to infection. Although TNF-alpha was produced by HEC-1-B cells after infection, the extent of ICAM-1 upregulation was not affected by neutralizing anti-TNF-alpha antiserum. Dual-fluorescence flow cytometry showed that the cells with the highest levels of ICAM-1 expression were cells with associated gonococci. We conclude that epithelial cells upregulate the expression of ICAM-1 in response to infection with invasive gonococci. On the mucosa, upregulation of ICAM-1 by infected epithelial cells may function to maintain neutrophils at the site of infection, thereby reducing further invasion of the mucosa by gonococci.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 1999 · Infection and Immunity

Publication Stats

145 Citations
31.06 Total Impact Points


  • 2007-2012
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics
      CGS, Maryland, United States
  • 1999-2009
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Warsaw
      • Institute of Microbiology
      Warszawa, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
  • 2001-2002
    • San Francisco VA Medical Center
      San Francisco, California, United States