All Publications

  • Bacterial cell wall composition and the influence of antibiotics by cell-wall and whole-cell NMR. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences Romaniuk, J. A., Cegelski, L. 2015; 370 (1679)


    The ability to characterize bacterial cell-wall composition and structure is crucial to understanding the function of the bacterial cell wall, determining drug modes of action and developing new-generation therapeutics. Solid-state NMR has emerged as a powerful tool to quantify chemical composition and to map cell-wall architecture in bacteria and plants, even in the context of unperturbed intact whole cells. In this review, we discuss solid-state NMR approaches to define peptidoglycan composition and to characterize the modes of action of old and new antibiotics, focusing on examples in Staphylococcus aureus. We provide perspectives regarding the selected NMR strategies as we describe the exciting and still-developing cell-wall and whole-cell NMR toolkit. We also discuss specific discoveries regarding the modes of action of vancomycin analogues, including oritavancin, and briefly address the reconsideration of the killing action of β-lactam antibiotics. In such chemical genetics approaches, there is still much to be learned from perturbations enacted by cell-wall assembly inhibitors, and solid-state NMR approaches are poised to address questions of cell-wall composition and assembly in S. aureus and other organisms.

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rstb.2015.0024

    View details for PubMedID 26370936

  • Spectral Snapshots of Bacterial Cell-Wall Composition and the Influence of Antibiotics by Whole-Cell NMR BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Nygaard, R., Romaniuk, J. A., Rice, D. M., Cegelski, L. 2015; 108 (6): 1380-1389


    Gram-positive bacteria surround themselves with a thick cell wall that is essential to cell survival and is a major target of antibiotics. Quantifying alterations in cell-wall composition are crucial to evaluating drug modes of action, particularly important for human pathogens that are now resistant to multiple antibiotics such as Staphylococcus aureus. Macromolecular and whole-cell NMR spectroscopy allowed us to observe the full panel of carbon and nitrogen pools in S. aureus cell walls and intact whole cells. We discovered that one-dimensional (13)C and (15)N NMR spectra, together with spectroscopic selections based on dipolar couplings as well as two-dimensional spin-diffusion measurements, revealed the dramatic compositional differences between intact cells and cell walls and allowed the identification of cell-wall signatures in whole-cell samples. Furthermore, the whole-cell NMR approach exhibited the sensitivity to detect distinct compositional changes due to treatment with the antibiotics fosfomycin (a cell-wall biosynthesis inhibitor) and chloramphenicol (a protein synthesis inhibitor). Whole cells treated with fosfomycin exhibited decreased peptidoglycan contributions while those treated with chloramphenicol contained a higher percentage of peptidoglycan as cytoplasmic protein content was reduced. Thus, general antibiotic modes of action can be identified by profiling the total carbon pools in intact whole cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2015.01.037

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351774800011

    View details for PubMedID 25809251

  • Uniform amplification of phage display libraries in monodisperse emulsions METHODS Matochko, W. L., Ng, S., Jafari, M. R., Romaniuk, J., Tang, S. K., Derda, R. 2012; 58 (1): 18-27


    In this paper, we describe a complete experimental setup for the uniform amplification of libraries of phage. Uniform amplification, which multiplies every phage clone by the same amount irrespective of the growth rate of the clone is essential for phage-display screening. Amplification of phage libraries in a common solution is often non-uniform: it favors fast-growing clones and eliminates those that grow slower. This competition leads to elimination of many useful binding clones, and it is a major barrier to identification of ligands for targets with multiple binding sites such as cells, tissues, or mixtures of proteins. Uniform amplification is achieved by encapsulating individual phage clones into isolated compartments (droplets) of identical volume. Each droplet contains culture medium and an excess of host (Escherichia coli). Here, we describe microfluidics devices that generate mono-disperse droplet-based compartments, and optimal conditions for amplification of libraries of different size. We also describe the detailed synthesis of a perfluoro surfactant, which gives droplets exceptional stability. Droplets stabilized by this compound do not coalesce after many hours in shaking culture. We identified a commercially available compound (Krytox), which destabilizes these droplets to recover the amplified libraries. Overall, uniform amplification is a sequence of three simple steps: (1) encapsulation of mixture of phage and bacteria in droplets using microfluidics; (2) incubation of droplets in a shaking culture; (3) destabilization of droplets to harvest the amplified phage. We anticipate that this procedure can be easily adapted in any academic or industrial laboratory that uses phage display.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymeth.2012.07.012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311526000004

    View details for PubMedID 22819853