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
- 21. Canchaya C, Desiere F, McShan M, Ferretti J J, Parkhill J, Brüssow H. Genome analysis of an inducible prophage and prophage remnants integrated in the Streptococcus pyogenes strain SF370. Virology. 2002; 302 : 245-58
22. Savic D J, McShan M, Ferretti J J. Autonomous expression of the slo gene of the bicistronic nga-slo operon of Streptococcus pyogenes. Infection and immunity. 2002; 70 : 2730-3
23. Desiere F, McShan M, van Sinderen D, Ferretti J J, Brüssow H. Comparative genomics reveals close genetic relationships between phages from dairy bacteria and pathogenic Streptococci: evolutionary implications for prophage-host interactions. Virology. 2001; 288 : 325-41
24. Ferretti J J, McShan M, Ajdic D, Savic D J, Savic G, Lyon K, Primeaux C, Sezate S, Suvorov A N, Kenton S, Lai H S, Lin S P, Qian Y, Jia H G, Najar F Z, Ren Q, Zhu H, Song L, White J, Yuan X, Clifton S W, Roe B A, McLaughlin R. Complete genome sequence of an M1 strain of Streptococcus pyogenes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2001; 98 : 4658-63
25. Ajdic D, McShan M, Savic D J, Gerlach D, Ferretti J J. The NAD-glycohydrolase (nga) gene of Streptococcus pyogenes. FEMS microbiology letters. 2000; 191 : 235-41
- 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