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.
Key Publications (selected)
- Parker J.L., Day-Williams, M.J., Tomas J.M., Stafford G.P., and Shaw J.G. Identification of a putative glycosyltransferase responsible for the transfer of pseudaminic acid onto the polar flagellin of Aeromonas caviae Sch3N. (2012) Microbiology Open 1: 149 - 160.
- Hadi N., Yang Q., Barnett T.C, Tabei S.M.B., Kirov S.M., and Shaw J.G. The Bundle forming pilus locus of Aeromonas veronnii biovar sobria. Infection and Immunity (2012) 80:1351-1360
- Parker J. and Shaw J.G. Aeromonas: clinical Microbiology and disease. Journal of Infection. (2011) 62:109-118.
- Wilhelms M., Molero R., Shaw J. G., Tomas, J. M. and Merino S. Transcriptional hierarchy of Aeromonas hydrophila polar-flagellum genes. Journal of Bacteriology (2011) 193:5179-5190.
- Marteyn B., West N., Browning D., Cole J., Shaw J., Palm F., Mounier J., Prévost M-C., Sansonetti P. and Tang C. Modulation of Shigella virulence in response to available oxygen at distinct sites in vivo. Nature (2010) 465: 355-358.
- Tabei S.M.B., Hitchen P.G., Day-Williams M.J., Merino S., Vart R., Pang P-C, Horsburgh G.J., Viches S., Wilhelms M., Tomás J.M., Dell A. and Shaw J.G. An Aeromonas caviae genomic island is required for both O-antigen lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and flagellin glycosylation. Journal of Bacteriology (2009) 191: 2851-2863.
- Shalom G., Shaw J.G. and Thomas M.S. In vivo expression technology identifies a type VI secretion system locus in Burkholderia pseudomallei that is induced upon invasion of macrophages. Microbiology (2007) 153:
- Seshadri R., Joseph S., Chopra A., Shaw J., Graf J., Haft D., Wu M., Madupu R., Rosovitz MJ, Ren Q., Talon L., Kim M., Jin S., Vuong H., Stine O.C., Ali A., Horneman A.J., and Heidelberg J.J., Genome sequence of Aeromonas hydrophila ATCC 7966T: the makings of a pathogen. Journal of Bacteriology (2006) 188:8272-8282.
- Shaw, J.G., Exley, R., Mowe E., Sun Y-H, West N.P., Williamson M., Botto M., Smith H. and Tang C.M. Available carbon source influences the resistance of Neisseria meningitidis against complement. Journal of Experimental Medicine (2005) 201:1637-1645.
- Kirov S.M., M. Castrisios and J. G. Shaw. Aeromonas flagella (polar and lateral) are enterocyte adhesins that contribute to biofilm formation on surfaces. Infection and Immunity (2004) 72:1939-1945.
- Gavin, R., Rabaan, A.A., Merino, S., Tomás, J.M., Gryllos, I. and Shaw J.G. Lateral flagella of Aeromonas species are essential for epithelial cell adherence and biofilm formation. Molecular Microbiology (2002) 43:383-397.
- Rabaan A.A., Gryllos I., Tomás J.M. and Shaw J.G. Motility and the polar flagellum are required for Aeromonas caviae adherence to HEp-2 cells. Infection and Immunity (2001) 69:4257-4267.
- Leighton M., Williamson M., Kelly D.J. and Shaw J.G The central carbon metabolism of Group B Neisseria meningitidis. Microbiology, U.K. (2001) 147:1473-1482.