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Congratulations Dr. Chandrahas and Dr. Kunda on Achieving Your PhDs

Author: Deborah Donahue

Vishwanatha Chandrahas

Vishwanatha Chandrahas

While at the Keck Center, Vishwanatha studied Group A streptococcus (GAS).  GAS is a human specific pathogen which causes trivial infections e.g., sore throat and impetigo, as well lethal infections e.g., necrotizing fasciitis and rheumatic heart disease. In order to infect its host, GAS expresses several pathogenic proteins like streptokinase (SK) which is secreted to the surrounding environment and M or M-like proteins which are embedded on cell membrane. M or M-like proteins are used as a basis for serotyping GAS strains into >250 types. GAS uses these proteins to exploit functional host fibrinolytic system for their own advantage. M or M-like proteins (e.g. M1 and PAM, respectively) tightly bind human plasminogen (hPg) and fibrinogen. SK secreted by GAS non-proteolytically activates hPg to a broad spectrum serine protease, plasmin (hPm), localizing proteolytic activity of hPm to GAS surface. hPm can break tissue barriers and assists GAS to invade tissue barriers and disseminate into deeper tissues.…

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