W. Michael McShan, Ph.D.
My research interests focus on the genetics and genomics of group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes), one of the most common bacterial pathogens of humans. Group A streptococcal infections are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide and are responsible for over $3 billion in annual treatment costs in the USA alone.
One project involves the novel control of DNA mismatch repair in S. pyogenes by a temperate bacteriophage (bacterial virus). This mechanism of control has never been observed before in any species and may represent an important system for the rapid acquisition of favorable mutations to allow the organism to escape host defenses or antimicrobial therapy. Genome analysis reveals that other streptococcal genes may be under bacteriophage control, and thus these studies may lead to an increased understanding of the control of many genes that may influence the ability of this bacterium to initiate infections and avoid host defenses.
A second line of investigation looks at the influence of a novel membrane protein on the expression of the extracellular bacterial toxins in S. pyogenes. Much of the damage that results from group A streptococcal infections is caused by the release of these toxin, and understanding the mechanisms controlling their production could lead to improved patient management.
Publications & Presentations
- 6. Nguyen S V, McShan M. Chromosomal Islands of Streptococcus pyogenes and related streptococci: Molecular Switches for Survival and Virulence. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2014; 4
7. Trubitsyn D, Geurink C, Pikuta E, Lefèvre C T, McShan M, Gillaspy A F, Bazylinski D A. Draft Genome Sequence of the Obligately Alkaliphilic Sulfate-Reducing Bacterium Desulfonatronum thiodismutans Strain MLF1. Genome Announcements. 2014; 2
8. Bessen D E, McShan M, Nguyen S V, Agarwal S, Shetty A, Tettelin H. Molecular Epidemiology and Genomics of Group A Streptococcus. Infect Genet Evol. 2014
9. McShan M. Streptococcus anginosus phage-like chromosomal island genomic sequence. National Library of Medicine. 2013
10. Christie G E, Allison H E, Kuzio J, McShan M, Waldor M K, Kropinski A M. Prophage-induced changes in cellular cytochemistry and virulence. CABI Press. 2012
- 1. Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases. NIH. Start Date: 2016. End Date: 2018.
2. Chromosomal Island SanCI and Streptococcus anginosus Global Transcription. Misc Non-Federal. Start Date: 2015. End Date: 2016.
3. Bacteriophage Control of DNA Repair in Streptococcus pyogenes. NIH. Start Date: 2013. End Date: 2016.
4. Mobile Element SpyCIM1 Enhances Survival in S. pyogenes. State Agency. Start Date: 2011. End Date: 2014.
Awards and Honors