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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SDB 802 Zip 0007
Phone  205-996-2392
Other websites Wu Lab

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pediatric Dentistry  Pediatric Dentistry Professor
Secondary  Pathology   Molecular & Cellular Pathology Assistant Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Center  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Hui Wu, Professor of Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. degree in Cell & Molecular Biology Program at the University of Vermont in 1999, studying streptococcal adhesion mechanisms. Dr. Wu stayed at the University of Vermont as a Research Associate in the Department of Medicine, working on identification of bacterial virulence factors induced in infective endocarditis patients. Dr. Wu joined the Microbial research group at UAB School of Dentistry in 2004. Dr. Wu's current research interests are in the area of microbiome, bacterial biofilms and bacteria-host interactions in health and disease.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Society for Microbiology      
International Association for Dental Research      

Research/Clinical Interest
Microbiome, Bacteria and Host Interactions, Structural Biology and Glycobiology
Our laboratory is interested in studying microbiome, bacterial biofilm and bacteria-bacteria interactions in health and disease. We are currently pursuing the following specific projects: 1) to investigate the molecular mechanism governing bacterial biofilm formation. We have identified and characterized sugar coated glycoproteins that are important for bacterial biofilm formation. During the study, we find a genomic island coding for the sugar coated protein and its associated glycosylation components is widespread in gram-positive bacteria. Our goals are to dissect the bacterial glycosylation pathway and elucidate the function of the protein glycosylation in bacterial fitness and virulence. 2) to investigate pathogenesis of bone resorption related oral diseases. We are interested in determining the molecular mechanisms of oral bacteria-mediated inflammatory bone resorption. Using periodontal pathogens as a model we study how bacterial infection mediates osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. 3) to investigate bacteria-bacteria interactions within the complex oral biofilm. The oral cavity hosts hundreds of bacterial species and undergoes complex physical, metabolic and signaling interactions within the bacterial community and outside the community. Our goals are to understand the complex interactions by establishing simple model systems to simulate bacteria-bacteria, and bacteria-host interactions. 4) to develop small molecule compounds that target bacterial biofilms, bacteria-bacteria interactions and manipulate a specific pathogen within the complex microbiome. In collaboration with chemists, we have already developed small molecule inhibitors that block biofilm formation and osteoclastogenesis, which may have therapeutic potentials for periodontal disease and other bone-resorption related bone diseases.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Zhang H, Zhu F, Yang T, Ding L, Zhou M, Li J, Haslam SM, Dell A, Erlandsen H, Wu H.
The highly conserved domain of unknown function 1792 has a distinct glycosyltransferase fold.
Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 15;5:4339. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5339. 
Shi WW, Jiang YL, Zhu F, Yang YH, Shao QY, Yang HB, Ren YM, Wu H, Chen Y, Zhou CZ.
Structure of a Novel O-Linked N-Acetyl-d-glucosamine (O-GlcNAc) Transferase, GtfA, Reveals Insights into the Glycosylation of Pneumococcal Serine-rich Repeat Adhesins.
J Biol Chem. 2014 Jul 25;289(30):20898-20907. Epub 2014 Jun 16. 
Heath JM, Sun Y, Yuan K, Bradley WE, Litovsky S, Dell'Italia LJ, Chatham JC, Wu H, Chen Y.
Activation of AKT by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine induces vascular calcification in diabetes mellitus.
Circ Res. 2014 Mar 28;114(7):1094-102. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302968. Epub 2014 Feb 13. 
Zhou M, Zhu F, Li Y, Zhang H, Wu H.
Gap1 functions as a molecular chaperone to stabilize its interactive partner Gap3 during biogenesis of serine-rich repeat bacterial adhesin.
Mol Microbiol. 2012 Feb;83(4):866-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.07970.x. Epub 2012 Jan 18. 
Wu R, Wu H.
A molecular chaperone mediates a two-protein enzyme complex and glycosylation of serine-rich streptococcal adhesins.
J Biol Chem. 2011 Oct 7;286(40):34923-31. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.239350. Epub 2011 Aug 23. 
Zhou M, Zhu F, Dong S, Pritchard DG, Wu H.
A novel glucosyltransferase is required for glycosylation of a serine-rich adhesin and biofilm formation by Streptococcus parasanguinis.
J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 16;285(16):12140-8. Epub 2010 Feb 17. 
Turner LS, Kanamoto T, Unoki T, Munro CL, Wu H, Kitten T.
Comprehensive evaluation of Streptococcus sanguinis cell wall-anchored proteins in early infective endocarditis.
Infect Immun. 2009 Nov;77(11):4966-75. Epub 2009 Aug 24. 
Zhou M, Wu H.
Glycosylation and biogenesis of a family of serine-rich bacterial adhesins.
Microbiology. 2009 Feb;155(Pt 2):317-27. Review. 
Zhou M, Peng Z, Fives-Taylor P, Wu H.
A conserved C-terminal 13-amino-acid motif of Gap1 is required for Gap1 function and necessary for the biogenesis of a serine-rich glycoprotein of Streptococcus parasanguinis.
Infect Immun. 2008 Dec;76(12):5624-31. Epub 2008 Oct 13. 
Li Y, Chen Y, Huang X, Zhou M, Wu R, Dong S, Pritchard DG, Fives-Taylor P, Wu H.
A conserved domain of previously unknown function in Gap1 mediates protein-protein interaction and is required for biogenesis of a serine-rich streptococcal adhesin.
Mol Microbiol. 2008 Dec;70(5):1094-104. Epub 2008 Sep 30. 
Chen Y, Wang X, Di L, Fu G, Chen Y, Bai L, Liu J, Feng X, McDonald JM, Michalek S, He Y, Yu M, Fu YX, Wen R, Wu H, Wang D.
Phospholipase Cgamma2 mediates RANKL-stimulated lymph node organogenesis and osteoclastogenesis.
J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 24;283(43):29593-601. Epub 2008 Aug 26. 

Microbiome, biofilms, protein glycosylation, osteoclastogenesis, and bone resorption