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Health Sciences profile

Professor Gregory Cook

PositionProfessor
DepartmentDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology
QualificationsMSc PhD(Waik) FRSNZ
Research summaryTargeting pathogen energetics to produce new antimicrobials

Research

Research in my laboratory is focused on developing bacterial metabolism and energetics as a new target space for drug development to combat bacterial pathogens in humans (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and treat and prevent disease in food animals and plants. The goal of this work is to produce new and fast-acting drugs that will address the issues of antimicrobial resistance and persistence.

Cook leads a multidisciplinary science team: Cook Lab, Microbiology and Immunology

Awards

  • University of Otago Research Group Award 2017, Otago Bacterial Energetics and Antimicrobial Resistance Group
  • University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal, 2014 (University of Otago's highest distinction)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society New Zealand, 2013

Roles

Publications

Greening, C., Berney, M., Hards, K., Cook, G. M., & Conrad, R. (2014). A soil actinobacterium scavenges atmospheric H2 using two membrane-associated, oxygen-dependent [NiFe] hydrogenases. PNAS, 111(11), 4257-4261. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320586111

Berney, M., Greening, C., Conrad, R., Jacobs, Jr, W. R., & Cook, G. M. (2014). An obligately aerobic soil bacterium activates fermentative hydrogen production to survive reductive stress during hypoxia. PNAS, 111(31), 11479-11484. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407034111

Heikal, A., Nakatani, Y., Dunn, E., Weimar, M. R., Day, C. L., Baker, E. N., … Cook, G. M. (2014). Structure of the bacterial type II NADH dehydrogenase: A monotopic membrane protein with an essential role in energy generation. Molecular Microbiology, 91(5), 950-964. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12507

Hards, K., Robson, J. R., Berney, M., Shaw, L., Bald, D., Koul, A., … Cook, G. M. (2015). Bactericidal mode of action of bedaquiline. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 70, 2028-2037. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv054

Berney, M., Greening, C., Hards, K., Collins, D., & Cook, G. M. (2014). Three different [NiFe] hydrogenases confer metabolic flexibility in the obligate aerobe Mycobacterium smegmatis. Environmental Microbiology, 16(1), 318-330. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12320

Chapter in Book - Research

Cook, G. M., Greening, C., Hards, K., & Berney, M. (2014). Energetics of pathogenic bacteria and opportunities for drug development. In Advances in microbial physiology. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/bs.ampbs.2014.08.001

Cook, G. M., Berney, M., Gebhard, S., Heinemann, M., Cox, R. A., Danilchanka, O., & Niederweis, M. (2009). Physiology of mycobacteria. In R. K. Poole (Ed.), Advances in microbial physiology (Vol. 55). (pp. 83-183). London: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/s0065-2911(09)05502-7

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Journal - Research Article

Kalia, N. P., Hasenoehrl, E. J., Ab Rahman, N. B., Koh, V. H., Ang, M. L. T., Sajorda, D. R., Hards, K., … Cook, G. M., … Pethe, K. (2017). Exploiting the synthetic lethality between terminal respiratory oxidases to kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis and clear host infection. PNAS, 114(28), 7426-7431. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706139114

Greening, C., Biswas, A., Carere, C. R., Jackson, C. J., Taylor, M. C., Stott, M. B., Cook, G. M., & Morales, S. E. (2016). Genomic and metagenomic surveys of hydrogenase distribution indicate H2 is a widely utilised energy source for microbial growth and survival. ISME Journal, 10, 761-777. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.153

Hards, K., Robson, J. R., Berney, M., Shaw, L., Bald, D., Koul, A., … Cook, G. M. (2015). Bactericidal mode of action of bedaquiline. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 70, 2028-2037. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv054

Pecsi, I., Hards, K., Ekanayaka, N., Berney, M., Hartman, T., Jacobs, Jr, W. R., & Cook, G. M. (2014). Essentiality of succinate dehydrogenase in Mycobacterium smegmatis and its role in the generation of the membrane potential under hypoxia. mBio, 5(4), e01093-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01093-14

Cook, G. M., Hards, K., Vilchèze, C., Hartman, T., & Berney, M. (2014). Energetics of respiration and oxidative phosphorylation in mycobacteria. Microbiology Spectrum, 2(3), MGM2-0015-2013. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MGM2-0015-2013

Heikal, A., Nakatani, Y., Dunn, E., Weimar, M. R., Day, C. L., Baker, E. N., … Cook, G. M. (2014). Structure of the bacterial type II NADH dehydrogenase: A monotopic membrane protein with an essential role in energy generation. Molecular Microbiology, 91(5), 950-964. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12507

Berney, M., Greening, C., Hards, K., Collins, D., & Cook, G. M. (2014). Three different [NiFe] hydrogenases confer metabolic flexibility in the obligate aerobe Mycobacterium smegmatis. Environmental Microbiology, 16(1), 318-330. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12320

Berney, M., Greening, C., Conrad, R., Jacobs, Jr, W. R., & Cook, G. M. (2014). An obligately aerobic soil bacterium activates fermentative hydrogen production to survive reductive stress during hypoxia. PNAS, 111(31), 11479-11484. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407034111

Hartman, T., Weinrick, B., Vilchèze, C., Berney, M., Tufariello, J., Cook, G. M., & Jacobs, Jr, W. R. (2014). Succinate dehydrogenase is the regulator of respiration in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathogens, 10(11), e1004510. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004510

Greening, C., Berney, M., Hards, K., Cook, G. M., & Conrad, R. (2014). A soil actinobacterium scavenges atmospheric H2 using two membrane-associated, oxygen-dependent [NiFe] hydrogenases. PNAS, 111(11), 4257-4261. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320586111

Lagautriere, T., Bashiri, G., Paterson, N. G., Berney, M., Cook, G. M., & Baker, E. N. (2014). Characterization of the proline-utilization pathway in Mycobacterium tuberculosis through structural and functional studies. Acta Crystallographica Section D, 70(Pt 4), 968-980. doi: 10.1107/s1399004713034391

Kingston, A. W., Zhao, H., Cook, G. M., & Helmann, J. D. (2014). Accumulation of heptaprenyl diphosphate sensitizes Bacillus subtilis to bacitracin: Implications for the mechanism of resistance mediated by the BceAB transporter. Molecular Microbiology, 93(1), 37-49. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12637

Schulz, S., Iglesias-Cans, M., Krah, A., Yildiz, Ö., Leone, V., Matthies, D., Cook, G. M., … Meier, T. (2013). A new type of Na+-driven ATP synthase membrane rotor with a two-carboxylate ion-coupling motif. PLoS Biology, 11(6), e1001596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001596

Wilson, J. L., Jesse, H. E., Hughes, B., Lund, V., Naylor, K., Davidge, K. S., Cook, G. M., … Poole, R. K. (2013). Ru(CO)3Cl(glycinate) (CORM-3): A carbon monoxide–releasing molecule with broad-spectrum antimicrobial and photosensitive activities against respiration and cation transport in Escherichia coli. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 19(5), 497-509. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.4784

Berney, M., Weimar, M. R., Heikal, A., & Cook, G. M. (2012). Regulation of proline metabolism in mycobacteria and its role in carbon metabolism under hypoxia. Molecular Microbiology, 84(4), 664-681. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08053.x

Frampton, R., Aggio, R. B. M., Villas-Bôas, S. G., Arcus, V. L., & Cook, G. M. (2012). Toxin-antitoxin systems of Mycobacterium smegmatis are essential for cell survival. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(8), 5340-5356. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.286856

Tannock, G. W., Wilson, C. M., Loach, D., Cook, G. M., Eason, J., O'Toole, P. W., … Lawley, B. (2012). Resource partitioning in relation to cohabitation of Lactobacillus species in the mouse forestomach. ISME Journal, 6, 927-938. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2011.161

Kalamorz, F., Keis, S., McMillan, D. G. G., Olsson, K., Stanton, J.-A., Stockwell, P., Black, M. A., … Cook, G. M. (2011). Draft genome sequence of the thermoalkaliphilic Caldalkalibacillus thermarum strain TA2.A1. Journal of Bacteriology, 193(16), 4290-4291. doi: 10.1128/jb.05035-11

Arcus, V. L., McKenzie, J. L., Robson, J., & Cook, G. M. (2011). The PIN-domain ribonucleases and the prokaryotic VapBC toxin—antitoxin array. Protein Engineering, Design & Selection, 24(1-2), 33-40. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzq081

Taniguchi, N., Suzuki, T., Berney, M., Yoshida, M., & Cook, G. M. (2011). The regulatory C-terminal domain of subunit ε of FoF1 ATP synthase is dispensable for growth and survival of Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology, 193(8), 2046-2052. doi: 10.1128/JB.01422-10

Sims, I. M., Frese, S. A., Walter, J., Loach, D., Wilson, M., Appleyard, K., … Livingston, M., Baird, M., Cook, G., & Tannock, G. W. (2011). Structure and functions of exopolysaccharide produced by gut commensal Lactobacillus reuteri 100-23. ISME Journal, 5(7), 1115-1124. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2010.201

Yu, Z., Bekker, M., Tramonti, A., Cook, G. M., van Ulsen, P., Scheffers, D.-J., … Luirink, J. (2011). Activators of glutamate-dependent acid resistance system alleviate deleterious effects of YidC depletion in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology, 193(6), 1308-1316. doi: 10.1128/JB.01209-10

McMillan, D. G. G., Velasquez, I., Nunn, B. L., Goodlett, D. R., Hunter, K. A., Lamont, I., Sander, S. G., & Cook, G. M. (2010). Acquisition of iron by alkaliphilic Bacillus species. Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 76(20), 6955-6961. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01393-10

Shepherd, M., Sanguinetti, G., Cook, G. M., & Poole, R. K. (2010). Compensations for diminished terminal oxidase activity in Escherichia coli: Cytochrome bd-II-mediated respiration and glutamate metabolism. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(24), 18464-18472. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.118448

Berney, M., & Cook, G. M. (2010). Unique flexibility in energy metabolism allows mycobacteria to combat starvation and hypoxia. PLoS ONE, 5(1), e8614. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008614

Hümpel, A., Gebhard, S., Cook, G. M., & Berney, M. (2010). The SigF regulon in Mycobacterium smegmatis reveals roles in adaptation to stationary phase, heat and oxidative stress. Journal of Bacteriology, 192(10), 2491-2502. doi: 10.1128/JB.00035-10

Swe, P. M., Heng, N. C. K., Cook, G. M., Tagg, J. R., & Jack, R. W. (2010). Identification of Dysl, the immunity factor of the streptococcal bacteriocin dysgalacticin. Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 76(23), 7885-7889. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01707-10

Robson, J., McKenzie, J. L., Cursons, R., Cook, G. M., & Arcus, V. L. (2009). The vapBC operon from Mycobacterium smegmatis is an autoregulated toxin-antitoxin module that controls growth via inhibition of translation. Journal of Molecular Biology, 390, 353-367. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.05.006

Mesbah, N. M., Cook, G. M., & Wiegel, J. (2009). The halophilic alkalithermophile Natranaerobius thermophilus adapts to multiple environmental extremes using a large repertoire of Na+(K+)/H+ antiporters. Molecular Microbiology, 74(2), 270-281. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06845.x

Gebhard, S., Gaballa, A., Helmann, J. D., & Cook, G. M. (2009). Direct stimulus perception and transcription activation by a membrane-bound DNA binding protein. Molecular Microbiology, 73(3), 482-491. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06787.x

Matthies, D., Preiss, L., Klyszejko, A. L., Muller, D. J., Cook, G. M., Vonck, J., & Meier, T. (2009). The C13 ring from a thermoalkaliphilic ATP synthase reveals an extended diameter due to a special structural region. Journal of Molecular Biology, 388(3), 611-618. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.03.052

McMillan, D. G. G., Keis, S., Berney, M., & Cook, G. M. (2009). Nonfermentative thermoalkaliphilic growth is restricted to alkaline environments. Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 75(24), 7649-7654. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01639-09

Swe, P. M., Cook, G. M., Tagg, J. R., & Jack, R. W. (2009). Mode of action of dysgalacticin: A large heat-labile bacteriocin. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 63(4), 679-686. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkn552

Gauntlett, J. C., Gebhard, S., Keis, S., Manson, J. M., Pos, K. M., & Cook, G. M. (2008). Molecular analysis of BcrR, a membrane-bound bacitracin sensor and DNA-binding protein from Enterococcus faecalis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283(13), 8591-8600. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M709503200

McMillan, D. G. G., Keis, S., Dimroth, P., & Cook, G. M. (2007). A specific adaptation in the a subunit of thermoalkaliphilic F1Fo-ATP synthase enables ATP synthesis at high pH but not at neutral pH values. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(24), 17395-17404.

Meier, T., Morgner, N., Matthies, D., Pogoryelov, D., Keis, S., Cook, G. M., … Brutschy, B. (2007). A tridecameric c ring of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase from the thermoalkaliphilic Bacillus sp. strain TA2.A1 facilitates ATP synthesis at low electrochemical proton potential. Molecular Microbiology, 65(5), 1181-1192.

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Journal - Research Other

Cook, G. M., & Heikal, A. (2012). Bridging the gap between a TB drug and its target. Science Translational Medicine, 4(150), 150fs33. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004816

McMillan, D. G. G., Ferguson, S. A., Dey, D., Schröder, K., Aung, H. L., Carbone, V., … Cook, G. M. (2011). A1Ao-ATP synthase of Methanobrevibacter ruminantium couples sodium ions for ATP synthesis under physiological conditions. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(46), 39882-39892. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.281675

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