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Articles by S Weiman
Total Records ( 2 ) for S Weiman
  S Weiman , S Dahesh , A. F Carlin , V Nizet and A. L Lewis
 

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is an important human pathogen and a model system for studying the roles of bacterial glycosylation in host–microbe interactions. Sialic acid (Sia), expressed prominently in the GBS capsular polysaccharide (CPS), mimics mammalian cell surface Sia and can interact with host Sia-binding proteins to subvert immune clearance mechanisms. Our earlier work has shown that GBS partially O-acetylates CPS Sia residues and employs an intracellular O-acetylation/de-O-acetylation cycle to control the final level of this surface Sia modification. Here, we examine the effects of point mutations in the NeuD O-acetyltransferase and NeuA O-acetylesterase on specific glycosylation phenotypes of GBS, pinpointing an isogenic strain pair that differs dramatically in the degree of the O-acetyl modification (80% versus 5%) while still expressing comparable levels of overall sialylation. Using these strains, higher levels of O-acetylation were found to protect GBS CPS Sia against enzymatic removal by microbial sialidases and to impede engagement of human Siglec-9, but not to significantly alter the ability of GBS to restrict complement C3b deposition on its surface. Additional experiments demonstrated that pH-induced migration of the O-acetyl modification from the 7- to 9-carbon position had a substantial impact on GBS–Siglec-9 interactions, with 7-O-acetylation exhibiting the strongest interference. These studies show that both the degree and position of the GBS O-acetyl modification influence Sia-specific interactions relevant to the host–pathogen relationship. We conclude that native GBS likely expresses a phenotype of intermediate Sia O-acetylation to strike a balance between competing selective pressures present in the host environment.

  S Uchiyama , A. F Carlin , A Khosravi , S Weiman , A Banerjee , D Quach , G Hightower , T. J Mitchell , K. S Doran and V. Nizet
 

In humans, Streptococcus pneumoniae (SPN) is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, a disease with high attributable mortality and frequent permanent neurological sequelae. The molecular mechanisms underlying the central nervous system tropism of SPN are incompletely understood, but include a primary interaction of the pathogen with the blood–brain barrier (BBB) endothelium. All SPN strains possess a gene encoding the surface-anchored sialidase (neuraminidase) NanA, which cleaves sialic acid on host cells and proteins. Here, we use an isogenic SPN NanA-deficient mutant and heterologous expression of the protein to show that NanA is both necessary and sufficient to promote SPN adherence to and invasion of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs). NanA-mediated hBMEC invasion depends only partially on sialidase activity, whereas the N-terminal lectinlike domain of the protein plays a critical role. NanA promotes SPN–BBB interaction in a murine infection model, identifying the protein as proximal mediator of CNS entry by the pathogen.

 
 
 
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