David K. Summers

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The secretory production of recombinant proteins by the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli has several advantages over intracellular production as inclusion bodies. In most cases, targeting protein to the periplasmic space or to the culture medium facilitates downstream processing, folding, and in vivo stability, enabling the production of soluble and(More)
Although the natural multicopy plasmid CoIE1 is maintained stably under most growth conditions, plasmid cloning vectors related to it are relatively unstable, being lost at frequencies of 10(-2)-10(-5) per cell per generation. Evidence suggests that CoIE1 and related plasmids are partitioned randomly at cell division and that plasmid stability is correlated(More)
Multicopy plasmids of Escherichia coli are distributed randomly at cell division and, as long as copy number remains high, plasmid-free cells arise only rarely. Copy number variation is minimized by plasmid-encoded control circuits, and the limited data available suggest that deviations are corrected efficiently under most circumstances. However, plasmid(More)
Instability of bacterial cloning vectors can present a serious problem when direct selection for plasmid-encoded phenotypes is undesirable, ineffective or impractical. Antibiotic selection may provide a satisfactory solution in enclosed fermentors but not where recombinant organisms are part of complex microbial consortia after release into the outside(More)
Indole has many, diverse roles in bacterial signaling. It regulates the transition from exponential to stationary phase, it is involved in the control of plasmid stability, and it influences biofilm formation, virulence, and stress responses (including antibiotic resistance). Its role is not restricted to bacteria, and recently it has been shown to include(More)
Indole is a bacterial signalling molecule that blocks E. coli cell division at concentrations of 3-5 mM. We have shown that indole is a proton ionophore and that this activity is key to the inhibition of division. By reducing the electrochemical potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli, indole deactivates MinCD oscillation and prevents formation(More)
The efficient transmission of multicopy plasmids to daughter cells at division requires that a high copy number is maintained. Plasmid multimers depress copy number, thereby causing instability. Various mechanisms exist to counter multimerization and thus ensure stable maintenance. One well-studied example is the multimer resolution system of the(More)
Indole has diverse signalling roles, including modulation of biofilm formation, virulence and stress responses. Changes are induced by indole concentrations of 0.5-1.0 mM, similar to those found in the supernatant of Escherichia coli stationary phase culture. Here we describe an alternative mode of indole signalling that promotes the survival of E. coli(More)
In this study, we have constructed a stochastic simulation of the replication and distribution of the bacterial multicopy plasmid ColE1 in a population of exponentially growing cells. It is assumed that ColE1 is randomly distributed between daughter cells at division such that copy number is a critical determinant of plasmid loss. High copy number is(More)
BACKGROUND Adjunctive dexamethasone increases survival from tuberculous meningitis, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. We aimed to determine the effect of dexamethasone on cerebral MRI changes and their association with intracerebral inflammatory responses and clinical outcome in adults treated for tuberculous meningitis. METHODS Cerebral MRI was(More)