Jose Lemos, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology
1395 Center Drive, D5-33A
Box 100424
Gainesville, FL  32610-0424
Phone: 352-273-8843
Fax: 352-273-8829



  • University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.  Postdoctoral Fellow. 2001-2002. Microbial genetics.
  • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Postdoctoral Fellow. 2000-2001. Microbial genetics.
  • Federal University of Rio de Janerio, Rio de Janerio, RJ. DSC. 2000. Microbiology.
  • Federal University of Rio de Janerio, Rio de Janerio, RJ. MS. 1995. Microbiology.
  • Santa Ursula University, RJ, Brazil. BS. 1990. Biology.

Main Interests

Virulence mechanisms of the Gram-positive Pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis

My Laboratory investigates the molecular factors that mediate virulence in the opportunistic Gram-positive pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis. S. mutans is a major pathogen in dental caries and a leading  causative agent of infective endocarditis.  In S. mutans, our current efforts focus on the characterization of the Spx global regulator, and its role in controlling stress responses and biofilm formation. The second S. mutans project, in collaboration with Dr. Jacqueline Abranches, focuses on the characterization of a collagen binding protein responsible for intracellular invasion of heart and oral tissues, a trait that is linked to increased virulence and, potentially, recurrent infection and chronic inflammation. The characterization of stress responses is also the theme of our research with E. faecalis, a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.  In this project, we are investigating the interplay between the stringent response, a major bacterial stress response mechanism for adaptation to changing environments, with other prominent stress regulators and how these interactions influence the ability of E. faecalis to survive antibiotic stress and other adverse conditions.


  • Simultaneous spatiotemporal mapping of in situ pH and bacterial activity within an intact 3D microcolony structure. Hwang G, Liu Y, Kim D, Sun V, Aviles-Reyes A, Kajfasz JK, Lemos JA, Koo H. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 8;6:32841. doi: 10.1038/srep32841.
  • Stress Physiology of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Papadimitriou K, Alegría Á, Bron PA, de Angelis M, Gobbetti M, Kleerebezem M, Lemos JA, Linares DM, Ross P, Stanton C, Turroni F, van Sinderen D, Varmanen P, Ventura M, Zúñiga M, Tsakalidou E, Kok J. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2016 Jul 27;80(3):837-90. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00076-15. Review. PMID: 27466284
  • The CtsR regulator controls the expression of clpC, clpE and clpP and is required for the virulence of Enterococcus faecalis in an invertebrate model. Cassenego AP, de Oliveira NE, Laport MS, Abranches J, Lemos JA, Giambiagi-deMarval M. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2016 Sep;109(9):1253-9. doi: 10.1007/s10482-016-0727-0. PMID: 27388279
  • Heterologous expression of Streptococcus mutans Cnm in Lactococcus lactis promotes intracellular invasion, adhesion to human cardiac tissues and virulence. Freires IA, Avilés-Reyes A, Kitten T, Simpson-Haidaris PJ, Swartz M, Knight PA, Rosalen PL, Lemos JA, Abranches J. Virulence. 2016 Jun 3:1-12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27260618
  • Inactivation of the spxA1 or spxA2 gene of Streptococcus mutans decreases virulence in the rat caries model. Galvão LC, Rosalen PL, Rivera-Ramos I, Franco GC, Kajfasz JK, Abranches J, Bueno-Silva B, Koo H, Lemos JA. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2016 Apr 1. doi: 10.1111/omi.12160. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27037617
  • The Collagen Binding Proteins of Streptococcus mutans and Related Streptococci. Avilés-Reyes A, Miller JH, Lemos JA, Abranches J. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2016 Mar 15. doi: 10.1111/omi.12158. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 26991416
  • Gaca AO, Kudrin P, Colomer-Winter C, Beljantseva J, Liu K, et al. From (p)ppGpp to (pp)pGpp: Characterization of Regulatory Effects of pGpp Synthesized by the Small Alarmone Synthetase of Enterococcus faecalis. Journal of bacteriology.2015; 197(18):2908-19.
  • Kajfasz JK, Rivera-Ramos I, Scott-Anne K, Gregoire S, Abranches J, et al.Transcription of Oxidative Stress Genes Is Directly Activated by SpxA1 and, to a Lesser Extent, by SpxA2 in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2015; 197(13):2160-70.
  • Baker JL, Abranches J, Faustoferri RC, Hubbard CJ, Lemos JA, et al.Transcriptional profile of glucose-shocked and acid-adapted strains of Streptococcus mutans. Molecular oral microbiology. 2015.
  • Miller JH, Avilés-Reyes A, Scott-Anne K, Gregoire S, Watson GE, et al. The collagen binding protein Cnm contributes to oral colonization and cariogenicity of Streptococcus mutans OMZ175. Infection and immunity. 2015; 83(5):2001-10.
  • Gaca AO, Colomer-Winter C, Lemos JA. Many means to a common end: the intricacies of (p)ppGpp metabolism and its control of bacterial homeostasis. Journal of bacteriology. 2015; 197(7):1146-56.
  • Galvão LC, Miller JH, Kajfasz JK, Scott-Anne K, Freires IA, et al.Transcriptional and Phenotypic Characterization of Novel Spx-Regulated Genes in Streptococcus mutans. PloS one. 2015; 10(4):e0124969.
  • Avilés-Reyes A, Miller JH, Simpson-Haidaris PJ, Hagen FK, Abranches J, et al.Modification of Streptococcus mutans Cnm by PgfS contributes to adhesion, endothelial cell invasion, and virulence. Journal of bacteriology. 2014; 196(15):2789-97.
  • Baker JL, Derr AM, Karuppaiah K, MacGilvray ME, Kajfasz JK, et al. Streptococcus mutans NADH oxidase lies at the intersection of overlapping regulons controlled by oxygen and NAD+ levels. Journal of bacteriology. 2014; 196(12):2166-77.
  • Avilés-Reyes A, Miller JH, Simpson-Haidaris PJ, Lemos JA, Abranches J. Cnm is a major virulence factor of invasive Streptococcus mutans and part of a conserved three-gene locus. Molecular oral microbiology. 2014; 29(1):11-23.
  • Abranches J, Tijerina P, Avilés-Reyes A, Gaca AO, Kajfasz JK, et al. The cell wall-targeting antibiotic stimulon of Enterococcus faecalis. PloS one. 2014; 8(6):e64875
  • Frank KL, Colomer-Winter C, Grindle SM, Lemos JA, Schlievert PM, et al.Transcriptome analysis of Enterococcus faecalis during mammalian infection shows cells undergo adaptation and exist in a stringent response state. PloS one. 2014; 9(12):e115839.
  • Gaca AO, Kajfasz JK, Miller JH, Liu K, Wang JD, et al. Basal levels of (p)ppGpp in Enterococcus faecalis: the magic beyond the stringent response. mBio. 2013; 4(5):e00646-13.
  • Lemos JA, Quivey RG Jr, Koo H, Abranches J. Streptococcus mutans: a new Gram-positive paradigm? Microbiology (Reading, England). 2013; 159(Pt 3):436-45.
  • Palmer SR, Miller JH, Abranches J, Zeng L, Lefebure T, et al. Phenotypic heterogeneity of genomically-diverse isolates of Streptococcus mutans. PloS one.2013; 8(4):e61358.
  • Falsetta ML, Klein MI, Lemos JA, Silva BB, Agidi S, et al. Novel antibiofilm chemotherapy targets exopolysaccharide synthesis and stress tolerance in Streptococcus mutans to modulate virulence expression in vivo. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2012; 56(12):6201-11.
  • Gaca AO, Abranches J, Kajfasz JK, Lemos JA. Global transcriptional analysis of the stringent response in Enterococcus faecalis. Microbiology (Reading, England).2012; 158(Pt 8):1994-2004.
  • Kajfasz JK, Mendoza JE, Gaca AO, Miller JH, Koselny KA, et al. The Spx regulator modulates stress responses and virulence in Enterococcus faecalis. Infection and immunity. 2012; 80(7):2265-75.
  • Chávez de Paz LE, Lemos JA, Wickström C, Sedgley CM. Role of (p)ppGpp in biofilm formation by Enterococcus faecalis. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2012; 78(5):1627-30.
  • Kajfasz JK, Abranches J, Lemos JA. Transcriptome analysis reveals that ClpXP proteolysis controls key virulence properties of Streptococcus mutans.Microbiology (Reading, England). 2011; 157(Pt 10):2880-90.
  • Abranches J, Miller JH, Martinez AR, Simpson-Haidaris PJ, Burne RA, et al. The collagen-binding protein Cnm is required for Streptococcus mutans adherence to and intracellular invasion of human coronary artery endothelial cells. Infection and immunity. 2011; 79(6):2277-84.
  • de Oliveira NE, Abranches J, Gaca AO, Laport MS, Damaso CR, et al. clpB, a class III heat-shock gene regulated by CtsR, is involved in thermotolerance and virulence of Enterococcus faecalis. Microbiology (Reading, England). 2011; 157(Pt 3):656-65.
  • Klein MI, DeBaz L, Agidi S, Lee H, Xie G, et al. Dynamics of Streptococcus mutans transcriptome in response to starch and sucrose during biofilm development. PloS one. 2010; 5(10):e13478.
  • Martinez AR, Abranches J, Kajfasz JK, Lemos JA. Characterization of the Streptococcus sobrinus acid-stress response by interspecies microarrays and proteomics. Molecular oral microbiology. 2010; 25(5):331-42.
  • Kajfasz JK, Rivera-Ramos I, Abranches J, Martinez AR, Rosalen PL, et al. Two Spx proteins modulate stress tolerance, survival, and virulence in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2010; 192(10):2546-56.
  • Lemos JA, Abranches J, Koo H, Marquis RE, Burne RA. Protocols to study the physiology of oral biofilms. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2010; 666:87-102
  • Simpson-Haidaris PJ, Pollock SJ, Ramon S, Guo N, Woeller CF, et al. Anticancer Role of PPARgamma Agonists in Hematological Malignancies Found in the Vasculature, Marrow, and Eyes. PPAR research. 2010; 2010:814609.
  • Kajfasz JK, Martinez AR, Rivera-Ramos I, Abranches J, Koo H, et al. Role of Clp proteins in expression of virulence properties of Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2009; 191(7):2060-8.
  • Abranches J, Martinez AR, Kajfasz JK, Chávez V, Garsin DA, et al. The molecular alarmone (p)ppGpp mediates stress responses, vancomycin tolerance, and virulence in Enterococcus faecalis. Journal of bacteriology. 2009; 191(7):2248-56.
  • Burne RA, Ahn SJ, Wen ZT, Zeng L, Lemos JA, et al. Opportunities for disrupting cariogenic biofilms. Advances in dental research. 2009; 21(1):17-20
  • Lemos JA, Burne RA. A model of efficiency: stress tolerance by Streptococcus mutans. Microbiology (Reading, England). 2008; 154(Pt 11):3247-55
  • Lemos JA, Nascimento MM, Lin VK, Abranches J, Burne RA. Global regulation by (p)ppGpp and CodY in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2008; 190(15):5291-9
  • Nascimento MM, Lemos JA, Abranches J, Lin VK, Burne RA. Role of RelA of Streptococcus mutans in global control of gene expression. Journal of bacteriology. 2008; 190(1):28-36
  • Lemos JA, Lin VK, Nascimento MM, Abranches J, Burne RA. Three gene products govern (p)ppGpp production by Streptococcus mutans. Molecular microbiology. 2007; 65(6):1568-81.
  • Nepomuceno RS, Tavares MB, Lemos JA, Griswold AR, Ribeiro JL, et al. The oligopeptide (opp) gene cluster of Streptococcus mutans: identification, prevalence, and characterization. Oral microbiology and immunology. 2007; 22(4):277-84.
  • Lemos JA, Luzardo Y, Burne RA. Physiologic effects of forced down-regulation of dnaK and groEL expression in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2007; 189(5):1582-8
  • Laport MS, Dos Santos LL, Lemos JA, do Carmo F Bastos M, Burne RA, et al.Organization of heat shock dnaK and groE operons of the nosocomial pathogen Enterococcus faecium. Research in microbiology. 2006; 157(2):162-8.
  • Abranches J, Lemos JA, Burne RA. Osmotic stress responses of Streptococcus mutans UA159. FEMS microbiology letters. 2006; 255(2):240-6
  • Lemos JA, Brown TA Jr, Abranches J, Burne RA. Characteristics of Streptococcus mutans strains lacking the MazEF and RelBE toxin-antitoxin modules. FEMS microbiology letters. 2005; 253(2):251-7.
  • Brown TA Jr, Ahn SJ, Frank RN, Chen YY, Lemos JA, et al. A hypothetical protein of Streptococcus mutans is critical for biofilm formation. Infection and immunity. 2005; 73(5):3147-51.
  • Ahn SJ, Lemos JA, Burne RA. Role of HtrA in growth and competence of Streptococcus mutans UA159. Journal of bacteriology. 2005; 187(9):3028-38.
  • Lemos JA, Abranches J, Burne RA. Responses of cariogenic streptococci to environmental stresses. Current issues in molecular biology. 2005; 7(1):95-107.
  • Nascimento MM, Lemos JA, Abranches J, Gonçalves RB, Burne RA. Adaptive acid tolerance response of Streptococcus sobrinus. Journal of bacteriology. 2004; 186(19):6383-90.
  • Laport MS, Lemos JA, Bastos Md Mdo C, Burne RA, Giambiagi-De Marval M.Transcriptional analysis of the groE and dnaK heat-shock operons of Enterococcus faecalis. Research in microbiology. 2004; 155(4):252-8.
  • Lemos JA, Brown TA Jr, Burne RA. Effects of RelA on key virulence properties of planktonic and biofilm populations of Streptococcus mutans. Infection and immunity. 2004; 72(3):1431-40.
  • Lemos JA, Burne RA. Regulation and Physiological Significance of ClpC and ClpP in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2002; 184(22):6357-66.
  • Lemos JA, Chen YY, Burne RA. Genetic and physiologic analysis of the groE operon and role of the HrcA repressor in stress gene regulation and acid tolerance in Streptococcus mutans. Journal of bacteriology. 2001; 183(20):6074-84.
  • Laport MS, de Castro AC, Villardo A, Lemos JA, Bastos MC, et al. Expression of the major heat shock proteins DnaK and GroEL in Streptococcus pyogenes: a comparison to Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. Current microbiology. 2001; 42(4):264-8.
  • Lemos JA, Burne RA, Castro AC. Molecular cloning, purification and immunological responses of recombinants GroEL and DnaK from Streptococcus pyogenes. FEMS immunology and medical microbiology. 2000; 28(2):121-8.
  • Lemos JA, Giambiagi-Demarval M, Castro AC. Expression of heat-shock proteins in Streptococcus pyogenes and their immunoreactivity with sera from patients with streptococcal diseases. Journal of medical microbiology. 1998; 47(8):711-5.