Faculty Listing

Dr. Erin E. McClelland

Assistant Professor

Dr. Erin E. McClelland
615-898-2466
Room 2121, Science Building (SCI)
MTSU Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., University of Utah, UT (2003)
  • A.B., University of California Santa Barbara, CA (1992)

Areas of Expertise

Cryptococcus neoformans, medical mycology, host-pathogen interactions, gender-specific differences to infection 

Biography

Professional Memberships
American Society for Microbiology

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Jones TH, McClelland EE, McFeeters H, McFeeters RL. 2017. Novel Antifungal Activity for the Lectin Scytovirin: Inhibition of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattiiFront Microbiol. 8:755.
  • Corson, A.E. Armstrong, S.A., Wright, M.E., McClelland, E.E. and Bicker, K.L. 2016 Discovery and Characterization...
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Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Jones TH, McClelland EE, McFeeters H, McFeeters RL. 2017. Novel Antifungal Activity for the Lectin Scytovirin: Inhibition of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattiiFront Microbiol. 8:755.
  • Corson, A.E. Armstrong, S.A., Wright, M.E., McClelland, E.E. and Bicker, K.L. 2016 Discovery and Characterization of a Peptoid with Antifungal Activity against Cryptococcus neoformans. ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 7 (12), pp 1139–1144.  
  • McClelland E.E., Ramagopal, U.A., Rivera, J., Cox, J., Nazouzi, A., Prabu, M.M., Almo, S.C. and Casadevall, A. 2016. A small protein associated with fungal energy metabolism affects the virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans in mammals. PLoS Pathogens. Sep 1;12(9):e1005849.  
  • Hayes J.B., Sircy, L.M., Heusinkveld, L.E., Ding, W., Leander, R.N., McClelland, E.E.* and Nelson, D.E.* 2016. Modulation of Macrophage Inflammatory Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) Signaling by Intracellular Cryptococcus neoformans. J Biol Chem.; 291(30): 15614-27. * Joint corresponding authors
  • Eisenman, H.C., Duong, R., Chan, H., Tsue, R., and McClelland, E.E. 2014. Reduced virulence of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans in Galleria mellonella. Virulence 5(5):611-618.
  • McClelland E.E., Hobbs, L.M., Rivera, J., Casadevall, A., Potts, W.K., Smith, J.M., and Ory, J.J. 2013. The Role of Host Gender in the Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans Infections. PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e63632.
  • Smith, J.M. and McClelland, E.E. 2012. Teaching Immunology through Microbiology. Medical Science Educator. 22(3):96-101.
  • McClelland, E.E. and Casadevall, A. 2012. Strain-related differences in antibody-mediated changes in gene expression are associated with differences in capsule and location of binding. Fungal Genet. Biol. 49(3):227-34.
  • McClelland, E.E. and Smith, J.M. 2011. Gender specific differences in the immune response to infection. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). Jun;59(3):203-13.
  • Eisenman, H.C., Chow, S., Tse, K.K., McClelland, E.E. and Casadevall, A. 2011. The effect of L-DOPA on Cryptococcus neoformans growth and gene expression. Virulence. 2(4):1-8.
  • McClelland, E.E., Nicola, A.M., Prados-Rosales, R. and Casadevall, A. 2010. Ab binding alters gene expression in Cryptococcus neoformans and directly modulates fungal metabolism. J Clin Invest, 120(4):1355-1361.
    • Comment: Janoff E.N. and Frank D.N. 2010. Pathogen-specific antibodies: codependent no longer. J Clin Invest. 120(4):1039-42.
  • Eisenman, H.C., Casadevall, A. and McClelland, E.E. 2007. New Insights on the Pathogenesis of Invasive Infection Due to Cryptococcus neoformans. Current Infectious Disease Reports, 9(6):457-464.
  • Zaragoza, O., McClelland, E.E., Telzak, A. and Casadevall, A. 2006. Equatorial ring-like channels in the Cryptococcus neoformans polysaccharide capsule. FEMS Yeast Research, 6(4):662-666.
  • McClelland, E.E., Bernhardt, P. and Casadevall, A. 2006. A Method to Estimate the Relative Contribution of Virulence Factors for Pathogenic Microbes. Infection and Immunity, 74(3):1500-1504.
    • Highlighted: Nature Reviews Microbiology: April 2006; Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: March 2006.
  • McClelland, E.E., Bernhardt, P. and Casadevall, A. 2005. Coping with Multiple Virulence Factors: Which Is Most Important? PLoS Pathog 1(4): e40.
  • McClelland, E.E., Perrine, W.T., Potts, W.K. and Casadevall, A. 2005. The Relationship of Virulence Factor Expression to Evolved Virulence in Mouse-Passaged Cryptococcus neoformans Lines. Infection and Immunity, 73(10):7047-7050.
  • McClelland, E.E., Adler, F.R., Granger, D.L. and Potts, W.K. 2004. Major Histocompatibility Complex Controls the Trajectory but Not Host-Specific Adaptation During Virulence Evolution in the Pathogenic Fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans. Proc Biol Sci, 271(1548):1557-1564.
  • McClelland, E.E., Damjanovich, K., Gardner, K., Groesbeck, Z.J., Ma, M.S., Nibley, M., Richardson, K.S., Wilkinson, M., Morrison, L.C., Bernhardt, P., and Potts, W.K. 2004. Infection-Dependent Phenotypes in MHC-congenic mice are not due to MHC: can we trust congenic animals? BMC Immunology, 5(1):14.
  • McClelland, E.E., Granger, D.L. and Potts, W.K. 2003. MHC-Dependent Susceptibility to Cryptococcus neoformans in mice. Infection and Immunity, 71(8):4815-4817.
  • McClelland, E.E., Penn, D.J. and Potts, W.K. 2003. MHC-Heterozygote Superiority During Coinfection. Infection and Immunity, 71(4):2079-2086.
  • Thomas, W., Fullan, A., Loeb, D.B., McClelland, E.E., Bacon, B.R. and Wolff, R.K. 1998. A Haplotype and Linkage Disequilibrium Analysis of the Hereditary Hemochromatosis Gene Region. Human Genetics, 102(5):517-525.
  • Ellis, M.C., Hetisimer, A.H., Ruddy, D.A., Hansen, S.L., Kronmal, G.S., McClelland, E.E., Quintana, L., Drayna, D.T., Aldrich, M.S. and Mignot, E. 1997. HLA Class II Haplotype and Sequence Analysis Support a Role for DQ in Narcolepsy. Immunogenetics, 46(5):410-417.
  • Ruddy, D.A., Kronmal, G.S., Lee, V.K., Mintier, G.A., Quintana L., Domingo, R., Meyer, N.C., Irrinki, A., McClelland, E.E., Fullan, A., Mapa, F.A., Moore, T., Thomas, W., Loeb, D.B., Harmon, C., Tsuchihashi, Z., Wolff, R.K., Schatzman, R.C. and Feder, J.N. 1997. A 1.1 Megabase Transcript Map of the Hereditary Hemochromatosis Locus. Genome Research, 7(5):441-456.
  • Feder, J.N., Gnirke, A., Thomas, W., Tsuchihashi, Z., Ruddy, D.A., Basava, A., Dormishian, F., Domingo, R. Jr., Ellis, M.C., Fullan, A., Hinton, L.M., Jones, N.L., Kimmel, B.F., Kronmal, G.S., Lauer, P., Lee, V.K., Loeb, D.B., Mapa, F.A., McClelland, E.E., Meyer, N.C., Mintier, G.A., Moeller, N., Moore, T., Morikang, E., Prass, C.E., Quintana, L., Starnes, S.M., Schatzman, R.C., Brunke, K.J., Drayna, D.T., Risch, N.J., Bacon, B.R. and Wolff, R.K. 1996. A Novel MHC Class I-like Gene is Mutated in Patients with Hereditary Haemochromatosis. Nature Genetics, 13(4):399-409.

Book Chapters

  • Guess, T. and McClelland, E.E. 2017. Ch. 29: “An Updated Overview of the Gender-Specific Response to Infection” in The Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Third Edition, editor: Marianne J. Legato, MD, publisher: Elsevier, London.
  • McClelland, E.E., Casadevall, A and Eisenman, HC. 2007. Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans in New Insights in Fungal Pathogenicity. Editor: Kevin Kavanagh, Springer.

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Research/Scholarly Activity

Understanding the interplay between hosts and pathogens is vitally important for rational design of treatment for microbial infections and diseases. I am particularly interested in host-pathogen interactions, immunology, microbial pathogenesis, the problem of evolution of virulence and identifying factors that are associated with virulence, from both the host and microbial perspectives. To study evolution-related & host-pathogen interaction questions, I utilize the pathogenic & medica...

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Understanding the interplay between hosts and pathogens is vitally important for rational design of treatment for microbial infections and diseases. I am particularly interested in host-pathogen interactions, immunology, microbial pathogenesis, the problem of evolution of virulence and identifying factors that are associated with virulence, from both the host and microbial perspectives. To study evolution-related & host-pathogen interaction questions, I utilize the pathogenic & medically relevant fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. C. neoformans infects a wide variety of hosts and causes cryptococcosis, a common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients which results in fungal meningitis.

Current Research Projects

1. Determine whether gender-associated differences in susceptibility to C. neoformans are due to hormonal effects on the host immune response and/or hormonal effects on the pathogen

One of the more interesting aspects of C. neoformans interactions with the host is the large discrepancy in the incidence of infections in male and female patients, with males having a higher incidence of C. neoformans infection and disease than females. This gender-related difference has been observed in dozens of studies and suggests underlying differences in the interactions of the immune response to C. neoformans infection and differential expression of microbial factors between males and females. We have found differences in the immune response of ex vivo male or female macrophages to C. neoformans, PLoS One, 2013. Currently, we are characterizing gender-specific and microbial factors in clinical isolates to determine which factors are involved in the gender susceptibility difference to C. neoformans.

2. Determine how C. neoformans modulates cell signaling in macrophages            

Another key aspect of the C. neoformans host-pathogen interaction is with host macrophages. I am collaborating with Dr. Dave Nelson (MTSU) to understand how C. neoformans modulates cell signaling, and the downstream consequences on the immune response, in macrophages. We published some of this work in August 2016 in JBC where we showed that intracellular C. neoformans specifically modulates NF-κB translocation into the nucleus. We found that, in contrast to the slight attenuation of NF-κB translocation to the nucleus caused by purified GXM, intracellular C. neoformans delayed and attenuated translocation of NF-κB into the nucleus in RAW264.7 macrophages in a burden-dependent manner. Importantly, this resulted in no downstream expression of TNF-α, a major pro-inflammatory cytokine, suggesting a new mechanism by which C. neoformans suppresses the host immune response.            

This project has been extended to look at differences in cell signaling when macrophages are activated by lipopolysaccharide versus interferon-γ and then infected with C. neoformans. We have RNAseq data suggesting that C. neoformans is differentially altering macrophage cell signaling once it has been engulfed by the macrophage. We are currently validating some of the identified genes using Western blot analysis. 

3.  Drug discovery for new therapeutics to treat C. neoformans infection.            

One of the major concerns with a C. neoformans interaction with the host is how best to treat the infection. A key problem is that the current antifungal drugs used to treat a C. neoformans infection have high toxicity, which is tricky because patients are often treated long-term. Another problem is that many strains are rapidly developing drug resistance. Thus, new therapeutics are desperately needed. I have a number of collaborations studying how various compounds inhibit growth of C. neoformans and C. gattii (infects immune competent hosts), a few of which were recently published (Frontiers in Microbiology, 2017 and ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2016).

4. Determine genes involved in C. neoformans virulence.

The ability of C. neoformans to infect a broad range of hosts, including immune competent individuals, makes the study of its virulence mechanisms & host-pathogen interactions crucial for much needed therapies. I have microarray data comparing both mouse-passaged and galleria-passaged C. neoformans strains that identified genes that may be involved in virulence.  Thus, the characterization of these genes and their role in virulence are perfect projects to train students in molecular biology and microbiology, ensuring student success and a new generation of future scientists.


Thus, most of the projects in the laboratory center around host-pathogen interactions, microbial pathogenesis, the evolution of virulence, and the immune response to C. neoformans infection.

I am always interested in talking to prospective graduate and undergraduate students about working in the lab.

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Courses

BIOL 2230 - Microbiology

BIOL 4200 - Senior Seminar

BIOL 4550/5550 - Biotechnology

BIOL 6660 - Graduate Seminar