Magdalene Yh So

Professor

Maggie So began her independent research career at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, then the Scripps Research Institute. During this period she developed her program on the molecular mechanisms of antigenic variation in the pathogenic Neisseria. In 1993, she became chair of the Molecular Microbiology Department at Oregon Health Sciences University, where she gathered a group of highly collaborative scientists interested in the various facets of microbial pathogenesis. It was here that she developed her program on the cell biology of Neisseria pathogenesis, and on the role played by the Type IV pilus in host cell signaling. In 2007, she joined the BIO5 Institute and the Department of Immunobiology at University of Arizona, where she spearheads the Microbial Pathogenesis program and continues her research on the Type IV pilus, and where she began a program on commensal Neisseria. Research Interests The majority of pathogens enter the body via the mucosal surfaces. We are interested in how bacteria overcome defenses at this barrier. In particular, we study two closely related pathogens, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis. Our goals are to understand how the neisserial type IV pilus (Tfp) functions in infection, and to identify other determinants that promote attachment, invasion, and intracellular survival. We have also developed a research program on commensal species of Neisseria. In particular, we are interested in the role of the ubiquitous type IV pilus in commensal-host interactions. Our studies use a combination of experimental approaches, including genomics, cell signaling and trafficking, biophysics and high-resolution microscopy.

Recent Publications

2013

Weyand, N. J., A. M. Wertheimer, T. R. Hobbs, J. L. Sisko, N. A. Taku, L. D. Gregston, S. Clary, D. L. Higashi, N. Biais, L. M. Brown, et al., "Neisseria infection of rhesus macaques as a model to study colonization, transmission, persistence, and horizontal gene transfer.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 110, issue 8, pp. 3059-64, 2013 Feb 19. PMCID: PMC3581930  PMID: 23382234
Calton, C. M., L. K. Wade, and M. So, "Upregulation of ATF3 inhibits expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 during Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection.", Cell Microbiol, vol. 15, issue 11, pp. 1837-50, 2013 Nov. PMCID: PMC3796059  PMID: 23648135
Rendón, M. A., A. M. Hockenberry, S. A. McManus, and M. So, "Sigma factor RpoN (σ54) regulates pilE transcription in commensal Neisseria elongata.", Mol Microbiol, vol. 90, issue 1, pp. 103-13, 2013 Oct. PMCID: PMC4474139  PMID: 23899162

2011

Choileain, S. Ni, N. J. Weyand, C. Neumann, J. Thomas, M. So, and A. L. Astier, "The dynamic processing of CD46 intracellular domains provides a molecular rheostat for T cell activation.", PLoS One, vol. 6, issue 1, pp. e16287, 2011. PMCID: PMC3023775  PMID: 21283821
Higashi, D. L., N. Biais, N. J. Weyand, A. Agellon, J. L. Sisko, L. M. Brown, and M. So, "N. elongata produces type IV pili that mediate interspecies gene transfer with N. gonorrhoeae.", PLoS One, vol. 6, issue 6, pp. e21373, 2011. PMCID: PMC3120873  PMID: 21731720

2010

Biais, N., D. L. Higashi, J. Brujic, M. So, and M. P. Sheetz, "Force-dependent polymorphism in type IV pili reveals hidden epitopes.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 107, issue 25, pp. 11358-63, 2010 Jun 22. PMCID: PMC2895099  PMID: 20534431
Marri, P. Reddy, M. Paniscus, N. J. Weyand, M. A. Rendón, C. M. Calton, D. R. Hernández, D. L. Higashi, E. Sodergren, G. M. Weinstock, S. D. Rounsley, et al., "Genome sequencing reveals widespread virulence gene exchange among human Neisseria species.", PLoS One, vol. 5, issue 7, pp. e11835, 2010. PMCID: PMC2911385  PMID: 20676376
Weyand, N. J., C. M. Calton, D. L. Higashi, K. J. Kanack, and M. So, "Presenilin/gamma-secretase cleaves CD46 in response to Neisseria infection.", J Immunol, vol. 184, issue 2, pp. 694-701, 2010 Jan 15. PMID: 20018629

2009

Higashi, D. L., G. H. Zhang, N. Biais, L. R. Myers, N. J. Weyand, D. A. Elliott, and M. So, "Influence of type IV pilus retraction on the architecture of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae-infected cell cortex.", Microbiology, vol. 155, issue Pt 12, pp. 4084-92, 2009 Dec. PMCID: PMC2889423  PMID: 19762436

2008

Biais, N., B. Ladoux, D. Higashi, M. So, and M. Sheetz, "Cooperative retraction of bundled type IV pili enables nanonewton force generation.", PLoS Biol, vol. 6, issue 4, pp. e87, 2008 Apr 15. PMCID: PMC2292754  PMID: 18416602