Catherine C. McGowan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
The main research focus of my lab is the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori. Specifically, my studies have examined acid-inducible gene expression in H. pylori. Using RNA subtractive-hybridizaiton, we have identified 28 genes whose expression is enhanced at acid pH. The genes are diverse, and appear to be involved in virulence and colonization, DNA protection and repair, cell wall structure, and gene regulation; several genes are of unknown function. Promoter analyses of these genes demonstrate that they are diverse, and under the control of several different regulators. Mechanisms of increased gene expression at low pH have been examined, and include enhanced utilization of specific promoters and increased stability of mRNA. Ongoing work includes mutagenesis studies of acid-induced genes, characterization of putative regulators, and more detailed analysis of acid-inducible promoters. . .