Research in my laboratory investigates chemical, stress and nutritional signaling at the interface amongst the mammalian host, beneficial microbiota and invading pathogens. We devise a multi-disciplinary research program utilizing genetic, biochemical, chemical and structural approaches to investigate fundamental biological questions. Our research over the years has focused on:
1) Bacterial cells sense several mammalian neurotransmitters as a means to gage the physiological and immune state of the host, leading to rewiring and reprogramming of bacterial transcription towards host and niche adaptation. We have also identified several bacterial adrenergic, endocannabinoid and serotonergic receptors.
2) We have shown that these bacterial neurotransmitter receptors also sense bacterial signals, such as the novel pirazynone family of AI-3 autoinducers, and indole, which in turn influence mammalian cell signaling, linking inter-kingdom chemical communication at the biochemical level. These studies highlight the co-evolution and the fundamental relationship between mammals and microbes, and that these signaling systems fully integrate bacterial and mammalian cell-behavior.
3) We also reported that invading pathogens can hijack these inter-kingdom signaling systems to promote virulence expression. We translated these basic science concepts into strategies to develop a novel approach to anti-virulence therapies.
4) Our work also explored how different chemical signaling systems shape bacterial/host relationships towards commensalism or pathogenesis. This work shows that different chemical relationships define the nature of host/bacterial associations.
5) We have also shown that enteric pathogens exploit nutritional cues (Carbon, aminoacids and/or nitrogen sources) made available by the gut microbiota as signals to coordinate virulence regulation and modify the pathogen’s metabolism allowing for efficient host colonization.
6) Moreover the cross-signaling with neurotransmitters, which is a key event I the gut-brain-axis, can also lead to new insights into drug addiction, and repurposing of agonists and antagonists of the adrenergic, serotonergic and endocannabinoid systems as potential novel anti-bacterial therapies.
- Graduate School
- Unlisted - International Colle
- Graduate School
- Campinas State University (1995), Molecular Biology
- addiction and the microbiome
- Bacterial pathogenesis
- Bacterial virulence gene expression
- E. coli O157:H7
- gut brain axis
- Inter-kingdom signaling
- pathogen-microbiota-host interactions
- Quorum sensing
- QseC mediates Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium virulence in vitro and in vivo.
- Moreira, C.G., Weinshenker, D. and Sperandio, V. Infection and Immunity 2010 78 914-26
- Inter-kingdom signaling: communication between bacteria and host.
- Hughes, D.T, and Sperandio, V. Nature Reviews Microbiology 2008 6 111-20
- Targeting QseC signaling and virulence for antibiotic development.
- Rasko, D.A., Moreira, C.G., Li, D.R., Reading, N.C., Ritchie, J.M., Waldor, M.K., Williams, N. Taussig, R., Wei, S., Roth, M. Hughes, D.T., Huntley, J.F., Fina, M.W., Falck, J.R., Sperandio, V. Science 2008 321 1078-1080
- The QseC sensor kinase: a bacterial adrenergic receptor.
- Clarke, M.B, Hughes, D.T., Zhu C., Boedeker, E.C. and Sperandio, V. Proc. Natl Acad. Science U.S.A. 2006 103 10420-10425
- Bacteria-host communication: the language of hormones.
- Vanessa Sperandio, Alfredo G. Torres, Bruce Jarvis, James P. Nataro, and James B. Kaper PNAS July 2003 100 8951-8956
- l-Arginine sensing regulates virulence gene expression and disease progression in enteric pathogens.
- Menezes-Garcia Z, Kumar A, Zhu W, Winter SE, Sperandio V, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2020 May
- EspFu-Mediated Actin Assembly Enhances Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Adherence and Activates Host Cell Inflammatory Signaling Pathways.
- Martins FH, Kumar A, Abe CM, Carvalho E, Nishiyama-Jr M, Xing C, Sperandio V, Elias WP, mBio 2020 Apr 11 2
- Characterization of Autoinducer-3 Structure and Biosynthesis in E. coli.
- Kim CS, Gatsios A, Cuesta S, Lam YC, Wei Z, Chen H, Russell RM, Shine EE, Wang R, Wyche TP, Piizzi G, Flavell RA, Palm NW, Sperandio V, Crawford JM, ACS Cent Sci 2020 Feb 6 2 197-206
- Diet-derived galacturonic acid regulates virulence and intestinal colonization in enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli and Citrobacter rodentium.
- Jimenez AG, Ellermann M, Abbott W, Sperandio V, Nat Microbiol 2019 Dec
- Enterococcus faecalis Enhances Expression and Activity of the Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Type III Secretion System.
- Cameron EA, Sperandio V, Dunny GM, MBio 2019 Nov 10 6
The epinephrine/norepinephrine/autoinducer-3 inter-kingdom signaling system in Escherichia coli O157:H7. In Microbial endocrinology
Moreira, C.G., and Sperandio, V. (2010). New York, Springer
Regulation in Response to Host-derived Signaling Molecules. In Regulation of Bacterial Virulence
Gruber, C, and Sperandio, V. (2013). Washington DC, ASM Press
Enterohemorrhagic and Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli.
Sperandio V, Hovde, C.J. (Ed.) (2014). Washington DC, ASM Press
Attaching and effacing intestinal histopathology and the locus of enterocyte effacement.. In Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other Shiga-toxin producing E. coli strains.
Kaper, J.B., Elliott, S.J., Sperandio, V., Perna, N.T., Mayhew, G.F., and Blattner, F.R. (1998). Washington DC, ASM Press
LuxS dependent regulation of E. coli virulence. In Bacterial cell-to-cell communication role in virulence and pathogenesis
Clarke, M.B., and Sperandio, V. (2006). Cambridge, U.K., Cambridge University Press
Quorum Sensing in E. coli and Salmonella. In E. coli and Salmonella book
Kendall, M., and Sperandio, V. (2014). Washington DC, ASM Press
The interplay between the microbiota and EHEC. In Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.
Pifer, R. and Sperandio V. (2014). Washington DC, ASM Press
The Way Forward. In Sperandio. In Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
Sperandio V. 2014 (2014). Washington DC, ASM Press
Interference with bacterial cell-to-cell chemical signaling in development of new anti-infectives. In Antibiotics, Targets, Maechanisms, and Resistance
Njoroge, J.W. and Sperandio, V (2013). Weinheim, Germany, Wiley-VCH
Enteric Pathogens Exploit the Microbiota-generated Nutritional Environment of the gut. In Metabolism and Bacterial Pathogenesis.
Pacheco, A.R., and Sperandio V. (2015). Washington DC, ASM Press
Quorum sensing and the gut microbiome. In Quorum Sensing: molecular mechanism and biotechnological application
Jimenez, A.G. and Sperandio V (2019). New York, Elsevier
Honors & Awards
- NIH Merit award
grant Meirt award (2017-2027)
- ASM Eli-Lilly and Company-Elanco research award
Oldest and most pretigious ASM research award (2015-2015)
- GSK Discovery Fast Track challenge program
drug discovery award (2014-2015)
- Fellow American Academy of Microbiology
Fellow of the AAM (2013)
- Kavli Fellow
Kavli Frontiers of Science National Academies of Science (2007)
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (2006)
- Ellison Foundation Award
New Scholar of Infectious diseases (2004)
- Dam Charitable Foundation
Travel Grant (2000)
- Pew Charitable Foundation
Pew Latin american fellow (1997)
- Vanessa Sperandio (2001-2020)