Elizabeth A. Shakhnovich

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Increasing antibiotic resistance requires the development of new approaches to combating infection. Virulence gene expression in vivo represents a target for antibiotic discovery that has not yet been explored. A high-throughput, phenotypic screen was used to identify a small molecule 4-[N-(1,8-naphthalimide)]-n-butyric acid, virstatin, that inhibits(More)
Hfq is a conserved RNA-binding protein that regulates diverse cellular processes through post-transcriptional control of gene expression, often by functioning as a chaperone for regulatory sRNAs. Here, we explored the role of Hfq in enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), a group of non-invasive intestinal pathogens. EHEC virulence is dependent on a(More)
The Vibrionaceae is comprised of numerous aquatic species and includes several human pathogens, such as Vibrio cholerae, the cause of cholera. All organisms in this family have two chromosomes, and replication of the smaller one depends on rctB, a gene that is restricted to the Vibrionaceae. Given the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistance in(More)
The development of antimicrobials is critical in this time of increasing antibiotic resistance of most clinically relevant bacteria. To date, all current antibiotics focus on inhibiting crucial enzymatic activities of their protein targets (i.e., trimethoprim for dihydrofolate reductase), thus disrupting in vitro essential gene functions. In contrast, we(More)
Cell extracts from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis induced multinucleation in HEp-2 cells in a manner similar to the effect caused by Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor (CNF). The activity was not dependent on the Yersinia 70-kb virulence plasmid, and the activity was not inhibited by antibodies capable of neutralizing E. coli CNF type 1. The(More)
Virstatin is a previously described small molecule inhibitor of Vibrio cholerae virulence. We have demonstrated that the molecule inhibits the activity of the transcriptional activator ToxT, thereby preventing elaboration of the toxin co-regulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin in vitro and in vivo in O1 strains of V. cholerae. While strains of the O1 and(More)
Both Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae are capable of mimicking host structures by decorating their lipopolysaccharides with sialic acid. We show that a neuraminidase expressed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (NanA) is able to desialylate the cell surfaces of both these species, which reside in and possibly compete for the same host niche.
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