Dr Jonathan Shaw BSc PhD
Reader in Microbiology
Department of Infection and Immunity
The University of Sheffield Medical School
Beech Hill Road
I am a Reader in Microbiology in the Department of Infection and Immunity. After finishing my PhD in 1991, I undertook two short post-doctoral positions in Sheffield and Canada before joining the Medical School in 1993 as an Independent Research Fellow.
The major direction behind the research in my laboratory is the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis at a molecular and mechanistic level, in relation to colonisation factors, secreted products and physiology.
I am heavily involved in the M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine and I also teach on the Medicine, Dental and Orthoptics courses.
I was previously on the editorial board of the journal Microbiology for eight years. I am currently an associate editor for MicrobiologyOpen and the journal Virulence.
Use of Aeromonas species as model systems for bacterial colonisation, environmental adaptation and protein glycosylation
Aeromonas spp. are an increasingly important cause of gastro-enteritis, with A. caviae being important in the causation of paediatric diarrhoea. However, there is little known about the pathogenicity determinants of this organism. Some strains of Aeromonas express two distinct flagella systems, a polar flagellum for swimming in liquid environments and many lateral flagella for swarming over surfaces, both are involved in colonisation. Possession of two types of flagella provides a natural reporter system for investigating how bacteria sense surfaces, or for dissecting the bacterial sense of touch. We are also interested in the genetic cross-talk between the flagellar systems and the type 3 secretion systems (T3SS).
Aeromonas glycosylates its flagellum with the sugar pseudaminic acid, this is essential for flagellar filament assembly and motility. This sugar is also found on the flagellin proteins of Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori. We are elucidating the flagellar glycosylation process at the molecular level. We are interested in developing sugar analogues to inhibit the glycosylation process that could possibly be used as a novel form of anti-microbial therapy. These projects are in collaboration with Graham Stafford of the Dental School, Simon Jones in Chemistry and the Universities of Barcelona and Tasmania.
Studies into the pathogenesis and physiology of Neisseria meningitidis
Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of bacterial meningitis. Although quite a lot is known about the organism's virulence factors, there is very little information available about the organism's carbon metabolism. We are investigating the growth and metabolic characteristics of N. meningitidis through the use of 13C-NMR and enzyme assays, with the emphasis on growth on lactate. This will enable us to find out what metabolic pathways the organism uses in CSF (in vivo) and find out if any unique enzymes are present which can be rationally targeted for antimicrobial therapy. The role of these pathways in the organisms pathogenesis are also being considered. We are also investigating the role of the global regulator Lrp (leucine responsive regulatory protein) and the stringent response of N. meningitidis in pathogenesis. These projects are in collaboration with Christoph Tang and Rachel Exley at Oxford University.
Interactions of Burkholderia with eukaryotic cells
In collaboration with Dr M Thomas (Sheffield) we are using genetic means such as IVET and mutagenesis to investigate the mechanism of how Burkholderia interacts with host cells via its type VI secretion system.
For Key Publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.
- Parker JL, Lowry RC, Couto NAS, Wright PC, Stafford GP & Shaw JG (2014) Maf-dependent bacterial flagellin glycosylation occurs before chaperone binding and flagellar T3SS export. Molecular Microbiology, 92(2), 258-272.
- Parker JL, Day-Williams MJ, Tomas JM, Stafford GP & Shaw JG (2012) Identification of a putative glycosyltransferase responsible for the transfer of pseudaminic acid onto the polar flagellin of Aeromonas caviae Sch3N. MicrobiologyOpen, 1(2), 149-160.
- Hadi N, Yang Q, Barnett TC, Tabei SM, Kirov SM & Shaw JG (2012) Bundle-forming pilus locus of Aeromonas veronii bv. Sobria.. Infect Immun, 80(4), 1351-1360.
- Wilhelms M, Molero R, Shaw JG, Tomas JM & Merino S (2011) Transcriptional Hierarchy of Aeromonas hydrophila Polar-Flagellum Genes. J BACTERIOL, 193(19), 5179-5190.
- Parker JL & Shaw JG (2011) Aeromonas spp. clinical microbiology and disease.. J Infect, 62(2), 109-118.
- Marteyn B, West NP, Browning DF, Cole JA, Shaw JG, Palm F, Mounier J, Prevost MC, Sansonetti P & Tang CM (2010) Modulation of Shigella virulence in response to available oxygen in vivo. NATURE, 465(7296), 355-U113.
- Tabei SM, Hitchen PG, Day-Williams MJ, Merino S, Vart R, Pang PC, Horsburgh GJ, Viches S, Wilhelms M, Tomás JM, Dell A & Shaw JG (2009) An Aeromonas caviae genomic island is required for both O-antigen lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and flagellin glycosylation.. J Bacteriol, 191(8), 2851-2863.
- Shalom G, Shaw JG & Thomas MS (2007) In vivo expression technology identifies a type VI secretion system locus in Burkholderia pseudomallei that is induced upon invasion of macrophages.. Microbiology, 153(Pt 8), 2689-2699.
- Seshadri R, Joseph SW, Chopra AK, Sha J, Shaw J, Graf J, Haft D, Wu M, Ren QH, Rosovitz MJ, Madupu R, Tallon L, Kim M, Jin SH, Vuong H, Stine OC, Ali A, Horneman AJ & Heidelberg JF (2006) Genome sequence of Aeromonas hydrophila ATCC 7966(T): Jack of all trades. J BACTERIOL, 188(23), 8272-8282.
- Exley RM, Shaw J, Mowe E, Sun YH, West NP, Williamson M, Botto M, Smith H & Tang CM (2005) Available carbon source influences the resistance of Neisseria meningitidis against complement. J EXP MED, 201(10), 1637-1645.
- Kirov SM, Castrisios M & Shaw JG (2004) Aeromonas flagella (polar and lateral) are enterocyte adhesins that contribute to biofilm formation on surfaces. INFECT IMMUN, 72(4), 1939-1945.
- Gavin R, Rabaan AA, Merino S, Tomas JM, Gryllos I & Shaw JG (2002) Lateral flagella of Aeromonas species are essential for epithelial cell adherence and biofilm formation. MOL MICROBIOL, 43(2), 383-397.
- Rabaan AA, Gryllos I, Tomás JM & Shaw JG (2001) Motility and the polar flagellum are required for Aeromonas caviae adherence to HEp-2 cells.. Infect Immun, 69(7), 4257-4267.
- Leighton MP, Kelly DJ, Williamson MP & Shaw JG (2001) An NMR and enzyme study of the carbon metabolism of Neisseria meningitidis.. Microbiology, 147(Pt 6), 1473-1482.