University at Buffalo
The Witebsky Center

The Witebsky Center
University at Buffalo
Bacteriology hostmicrobe immunology parasitology virology bioinformatics mycology
The Witebsky Center The Witebsky Center
John K. Crane, M.D., Ph.D.

John K. Crane, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Telephone: (716) 829-2676
Fax: (716) 829-3889



Synopsis of Research

My research focuses on the signal transduction pathways exploited by diarrhea-producing strains of E. coli, including enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC),  enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC, including 0157:H7).  Recently, most of our effort has been devoted to studying EPEC.

More recently my research interests have broadened to include the pathogenesis of enteropathogenic E. coli.  EPEC do not produce any known enterotoxins and do not alter cyclic nucleotide levels in the host cell.  But EPEC strains are able to cause severe, long-lasting diarrhea in children in developing countries.  Previous research by others implicated tyrosine kinases as an important signalling system activated by EPEC.  We, in contrast, have shown that a Ser-,Thr-directed protein kinase, protein kinase C, is activated by EPEC as well.

Currently we are working on several aspects of EPEC pathogenesis..  First, we are investigating the mechanism by which EPEC causes intestinal cell death, especially the role of EPEC secreted protein F (EspF) in host cell killing.  Part of this project includes investigating whether ATP released during EPEC-mediated killing serves as a stimulus for secretion in the intestine. Second, we  are investigating the role of a different signalling enzyme, phospatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI-3-kinase) in the pathogenesis of EPEC.

Recent Publications:

Crane JK, Olson RA, Jones HM, and Duffey ME. 2002. Release of ATP during host cell killing by enteropathogenic E. coli and its role as a secretory mediator. Am. J. Physiol. (Gastrointest. Liver Physiol), 282:  G74-G86.

Benekli, M, Crane JK, Conti, RR, Kremzier, JE, and Bidani, R. 2003. Pulmonary mucormycosis in a patient with COPD;  diagnosis by fine-needle aspiration cytology. J. Thoracic Cardiovasc. Surg. 127: 585-589..

Crane JK and Vezina CM. 2005. Externalization of host cell protein kinase C during enteropathogenic Escherichia coli infection.  Cell Death and Differentiation 12:  115-127.

Crane JK, Naeher TM, Choudhari SS, and Giroux EM.  2005.  Two pathways for ATP release from host cells in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli infection. Am. J. Physiol. (Gastrointest. Liver Physiol).289:  G407-G417.

Crane JK, Choudhari SS, Naeher TM, and Duffey ME.  2006.  Mutual enhancement of virulence by enterotoxigenic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.  Infect. Immun. 74:  1505-1515.

Crane JK, Shulgina I, and Naeher TM. 2007.  Ecto-5'-nucleotidase and intestinal ion secretion by enteropathogenic E. coli. Purinergic Signalling 3:  233- 246.

Crane JK, Naeher TM, Shulgina I, Zhu C, and Boedeker EC.  2007.  Effect of zinc in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli infection.  Infect. Immun. 75 (12):  5974-5984.

Crane JK and Hoque KM. 2008. Zinc for Infectious Diarrhea in Developed Countries:  Should we be Sprinkling our own Lawns ?  J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutrit. 46: 1-2.

Crane JK and Shulgina I. 2009.  Feedback effects of host-derived adenosine on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.  BMC Microbiology, accepted pending revisions.