George Y. Liu

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The innate immune response plays a crucial role in satisfactory host resolution of bacterial infection. In response to chemotactic signals, neutrophils are early responding cells that migrate in large numbers to sites of infection. The recent discovery of secreted neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) composed of DNA and histones opened a novel dimension in(More)
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is epidemic in the United States, even rivaling HIV/AIDS in its public health impact. The pandemic clone USA300, like other CA-MRSA strains, expresses Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), a pore-forming toxin that targets polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). PVL is thought to play a(More)
Golden color imparted by carotenoid pigments is the eponymous feature of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Here we demonstrate a role of this hallmark phenotype in virulence. Compared with the wild-type (WT) bacterium, a S. aureus mutant with disrupted carotenoid biosynthesis is more susceptible to oxidant killing, has impaired neutrophil survival,(More)
Staphylococcus aureus produces hospital- and community-acquired infections, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus posing a serious public health threat. The golden carotenoid pigment of S. aureus, staphyloxanthin, promotes resistance to reactive oxygen species and host neutrophil-based killing, and early enzymatic steps in staphyloxanthin production resemble(More)
IL-1beta produced by phagocytes is important for protection against the mucosal pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Processing and maturation of this cytokine requires activation of the multiprotein inflammasome complex. We observed that the bacterial cell wall component peptidoglycan (PGN) must be particulate and internalized via phagocytosis to activate NLRP3(More)
Meningitis occurs when blood-borne pathogens cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in a complex interplay between endothelial cells and microbial gene products. We sought to understand the initial response of the BBB to the human meningeal pathogen group B Streptococcus (GBS) and the organism's major virulence factors, the exopolysaccharide capsule and the(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis in neonates and has been found to persist inside host phagocytic cells. The pore-forming GBS beta-hemolysin/cytolysin (betaH/C) encoded by cylE is an important virulence factor as demonstrated in several in vivo models. Interestingly, cylE deletion results not only in the(More)
Inflammation and innate immunity involve signalling pathways leading to the production of inflammatory mediators. Usually such responses are self-limiting, but aberrant resolution of inflammation results in chronic diseases. Much attention has focused on pro-inflammatory signalling but little is known about the mechanisms that resolve inflammation. The(More)
Inflammation and innate immunity involve signalling pathways leading to the production of inflammatory mediators. Usually such responses are self-limiting, but aberrant resolution of inflammation results in chronic diseases. Much attention has focused on pro-inflammatory signalling but little is known about the mechanisms that resolve inflammation. The IkB(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of invasive bacterial infections in newborns and certain adult populations. Surface filamentous appendages known as pili have been recently identified in GBS. However, little is known about the role of these structures in disease pathogenesis. In this study we sought to probe potential functional role(s) of PilB,(More)