Our very own Dr. Josie Gibson has published her first paper in Autophagy! Her paper shows hows selective autophagy is beneficial for Staphylococcus aureus infected neutrophils. S. aureus is a significant pathogen of humans in both its sensitive and MRSA forms. Our immune system is very good at controlling this pathogen, but it only takes a slight advantage to the bacterium for them to cause serious diseases. Here we were show that neutrophils control S. aureus infection but some can escape through the phagosome.
Cells can detect when bacteria escape phagosomes. We found that these escaped S. aureus were being attacked via 'xenophagy' and looked at the adapter p62/SQSTM1 that had been previously associated with 'handling' S. aureus. Using a transgenic zebrafish with a tagged p62 and found that p62 marked escaped S. aureus in neutrophils. To support the role of p62/SQSTM1 in the handling of escaped S. aureus, we reduced the amount of p62 in neutrophils and made a p62 that could not activate autophagy. In both cases the infection was made worse. Our research shows the importance and role of p62 in control of S. aureus by neutrophils, how effective neutrophils are at controlling bacteria and how many different ways they need to stay ahead of this and all the other cunning microbes.
For the complete article, please use the following link: https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1765521
Figure 1. Staphylococcus aureus location within neutrophils changes from vesicular to cytosolic throughout infection (C) Tg(mpx:eGFP)i114 larvae were injected at 1 dpf with 1500 cfu SH1000 mCherry S. aureus, and imaged at 3 h post-infection. Images were captured every 5 min for 12 h at multiple z planes to follow infected neutrophils over time (scale: 5 µm). (E) S. aureus with Lc3 marking the entire vesicle (scale: 9 µm), demonstrating a vesicle. (F) S. aureus in the cytosol (scale: 9 µm).
Mahrukh joins fight against COVID-19 at Lighthouse Lab
The government has established three diagnostic testing labs to support the national effort against the coronavirus pandemic. Our very own Mahrukh Shameem is currently working at the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab in Cheshire, joining a team of talented, highly qualified experts from across the country to provide coronavirus diagnostic testing. Mahrukh is very excited about this experience and says:
" This pandemic has had a huge strain on the community and the health sector. It has had devastating effects on communities and I personally know of people who have lost their lives to this disease. Because of this, I was determined to help in any possible way possible, providing lab and technical assistance. I am very grateful to the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab, and the amazing people I work alongside there, for the incredible work they're doing. Everyone has been so wonderful and open and we have created a community within ourselves. It is so empowering to be part of a diverse background of scientists and researchers, all working towards this common goal. I will always be thankful for this experience"
Congratulations to Dr Aleksandra Bojarczuk on passing her viva! Due to the current pandemic, we can not be there to celebrate with her but we send her virtual hugs! We all wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours!
28th January 2020
We all want to congratulate Dr Katherine Pline on passing her viva with flying colours! She has somehow figured the secret key to escaping the Johnston Lab! We all wish her the best of luck in her future!
Stella won a poster prize!
A big well done to Stella! She won first place poster prize in the Innovations in Experimental Research category at the University of Sheffield NC3Rs Symposium in January! Her poster was entitled "Elucidating the role of cell wall composition and hyphal switch in the host-pathogen interactions of Candida albicans” and she brilliantly showed how she replaced the use of mice in her project. To find out more read here!
Jacob wins at biotech yes!
We all want to say a massive congratulations to Johnston Lab's own Jacob Rudman! In collaboration with fellow DiMeN DTP students, Jacob won the Best Engineering Team and Best Financial Planning Awards at the Biotechnology YES 2019 competition!
Jacob and the team had to set up a fictional biotechnology company based around real, novel renewable technology. This included putting together a legal strategy and financial planning. The final took place at the prestigious Royal Society in London. Read more here!
20th March 2019
BSMM annual meeting 2019
On the 17th to 19th of March, the British Society for Medical Mycology (BSMM) Annual Meeting was held in Royal Victoria Holiday Inn, Sheffield. Johnston lab led organising this important scientific gathering for clinicians and researchers to advance researches on medical and veterinary mycology.