Nathan Shankar

Contact Information:
Nathan Shankar


Shankar, Nathan (HSC)
Director of Graduate Studies, Professor and Vice Chair

Department of:

College Of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences -Professor and Vice Chair

Center of:


University of Madras, India   Ph.D.  

Professional Interest/Expertise/Specializations:
The increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance has brought a new sense of urgency to the discovery and development of antibacterial drugs. Effectively conquering antibiotic resistance will require expanding the available targets. One approach to this problem is to identify new targets by panning the genomes of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Enterococci, Gram-positive bacteria normally growing as commensal organisms of the gut, have emerged as a leading cause of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections and are frequently resistant to multiple antibiotics. Although the ability of Enterococcus faecalis to cause serious disease is well recognized, not much is known about enterococcal virulence factors that contribute to pathogenesis. For instance, factors that may influence the ability of enterococci to colonize host tissues, translocate across epithelial barriers or survive in grossly different host environments are poorly understood. Our laboratory is interested in the identification of potential virulence determinants in E. faecalis that may play a role in enterococcal pathogenesis, with particular emphasis on enterococcal surface components. Our long term interest is in the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat serious enterococcal infections by targeting bacterial components that aid the bacteria in causing disease.


Research Projects:

Oklahoma Center for Structural Biology Seed Grant
Inhibition of Autophagy by Entercoccus faecalis (PHF Seed Grant)
Characterization of Phagosome Trafficking and Autophagy in the Survival of E. faecalis in Macrophages (PHF)

Selected Publications:

A TIR Domain Protein from E. Faecalis Attenuates MyD88-mediated Signaling and NF-kB Activation.
2014    Zou J, Baghdayan AS, Payne SJ and Shankar N.
PLOS ONE 9: e112010.
Pathogenesis and Models of Enterococcal Infection
2012    Garsin DA, Frank KL, Sillanpaa J, Ausubel FM, Hartke A, Shankar N, Murray BE.
The Enterococci, 2nd Edition, ASM Press
Enterococcal Biofilm Structure and Role in Colonization and Disease
2012    Dunny GM, Hancock LE, Shankar N.
The Enterococci, 2nd Edition, ASM Press
Transcriptional Regulator PerA Influcences Biofilm-Associated, Platelet Binding and Metabolic Gene Expression in Enterococcus faecalis.
2012    Maddox SM, Coburn PS, Shankar N, Conway T.
PLoS One 7(4)
Horizontal transfer of virulence genes encoded on the Enterococcus faecalis pathogenicity island.
   Coburn PS, Baghdayan AS, Dolan GT, Shankar N.
Mol Microbiol; 63: 530-544
Presence of pathogenicity island genes in Enterococcus faecalis isolates from pigs in Denmark.
   Shankar N, Baghdayan AS, Willems RJL, Hammerum AM, Jensen LB.
J Clin Microbiol; 44: 4200-4203
Putative surface proteins encoded within a novel transferable locus confer a high-biofilm phenotype to Enterococcus faecalis.
   Tendolkar PM, Baghdayan AS, Shankar N.
J Bacteriol; 188: 2063-2072
The N-terminal domain of enterococcal surface protein, Esp, is sufficient for Esp-mediated biofilm enhancement in Enterococcus faecalis.
   Tendolkar PM, Baghdayan AS, Shankar N.
J Bacteriol; 187: 6213-6222
Enterococcal surface protein Esp does not facilitate intestinal colonization or translocation of Enterococcus faecalis in clindamycin-treated mice.
   Pultz NJ, Shankar N, Baghdayan AS and Donskey CJ
FEMS Microbiol Lett. 242: 217-219
Regulation of Bacterial Toxin Expression.
   N. Shankar and M.S. Gilmore
Microbial Toxins - Molecular and Cellular biology. Horizon Scientific Press.
Enterococcal cytolysin: Activities and association with other virulence traits in a pathogenicity island.
   Shankar, N., Coburn, P., Pillar, C., Haas, W. and Gilmore, M.S.
Intl. J. Med. Microbiol. 293: 609-618
A novel putative enterococcal pathogenicity island linked to the esp virulence gene of Enterococcus faecium and associated with epidemicity.
   Leavis H, Top J, Shankar N, et al.
J. Bacteriol. 186: 672-682
Enterococcal surface protein, Esp, enhances biofilm formation by Enterococcus faecalis.
   Tendolkar, P.M., Baghdayan, A.S., Gilmore, M.S. and Shankar, N.
Infect. Immun. 72: 6032-6039
Pathogenic enterococci: New developments in the 21st century.
   Tendolkar, P.M., Baghdayan, A.S. and Shankar, N.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 60: 1-15
The genome of Enterococcus faecalis V583: a tool for discovery. in The Enterococci: Pathogenesis, Molecular Biology and Antimicrobial Resistance
   W.M. McShan and N. Shankar
ASM Press
In vitro adhesive properties and virulence factors of Enterococcus faecalis strains.
   Archimbaud, C., N. Shankar et. al.
Res. Microbiol. 153: 75-80
Association between the presence of enterococcal virulence factors gelatinase, hemolysin and enterococcal surface protein and mortality among patients with bacteremia due to Enterococcus faecalis.
   Vergis, E.N., N. Shankar et. al
Clin. Infect. Dis. 35: 570-575
Modulation of virulence within a pathogenicity island in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis.
   N. Shankar et. al
Nature 417: 746-750
Role of Enterococcus faecalis surface protein Esp in the pathogenesis of ascending urinary tract infection.
   N. Shankar et al.
Infect. Immunity 69: 4366-4372
Characterization of a pathogenicity island-like genetic locus in virulent Enterococcus faecalis.
   N. Shankar et al.
Proc. XIV Lancefield Intl. Symp. pp. 421-424
Infection derived Enterococcus faecalis strains are enriched in esp, a gene encoding a novel surface protein.
   N. Shankar et al
Infect. Immunity 67: 193-200
Enterococci - From Commensals to Leading Causes of Drug Resistant Infection
   Edited by: Gilmore MS (Editor-in-chief), Clewell DB, Ike Y, and Shankar N.
A TIR Doman Protein from E.faecalis Attenuates MyD88-mediated Signaling and NF-kB Activation
   Zou J, Baghdayan AS, Payne SJ and Shankar N.
PLOS ONE 9:e112010
Enterococcus faecalis Infection Activates Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Signaling to Block Apoptotic Cell Death in Macrophages.
   Zou J and Shankar N
Infect. Immun. 82:5132-5142
Systems biology approach for mapping the response of human urothelial cells to infection by Enterococcus faecalis.
   Dozmorov MG, Kyker KD, Saban R, Shankar N, Baghdayan AS, Centola MB, Hurst RE.
BMC Bioinformatics, Nov 1;8 Suppl. 7:S2
Academic pharmacy leaders┬┐ perceptions of core requirements for entry into the professional pharmacy program.
   Broedel-Zaugg K, Buring SM, Shankar N, Soltis R, Stamatakis M, Zaiken K, Bradberry JC.
Amer J Pharm Edu; 72:1-6
An AraC-type transcriptional regulator encoded on the Enterococcus faecalis pathogenicity island contributes to pathogenesis and intracellular macrophage survival.
   Coburn PS, Baghdayan AS, Dolan GT, Shankar N.
Infect Immun; 76: 5668-5676
A novel conjugative plasmid from Enterococcus faecalis E99 enhances resistance to ultraviolet radiation.
   Coburn, P.S., Baghdayan, A.S., Craig, N., Burroughs, A., Tendolkar, P., Miller, K., Najar, F.Z., Roe, B.A., Shankar, N.
Plasmid. 64: 18-25
Genetic variation and evolution of the pathogenicity island of Enterococcus faecalis.
   McBride SM, Coburn PS, Baghdayan AS, Willems RJL, Grande MJ, Shankar N, Gilmore MS.
J Bacteriol; 191(10): 3392-3402.
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