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Infect Immun. Nov 1994; 62(11): 4722–4726.
PMCID: PMC303179

Invasion of rabbit ileal tissue by Enterobacter cloacae varies with the concentration of OmpX in the outer membrane.


The outer membrane protein OmpX of Enterobacter cloacae shows high amino acid homology with virulence proteins PagC and Rck from Salmonella typhimurium and with Ail from Yersinia enterocolitica. Here we demonstrate a role for OmpX in the invasion of rabbit ileal tissue by E. cloacae. An organ culture system was used for maintenance of rabbit gut tissue during the experiments. The invasiveness of three E. cloacae strains, which differed in OmpX content, were compared with each other and with that of Salmonella typhimurium TML (a highly invasive strain) and S. typhimurium LT7 (a noninvasive strain). There was no significant difference between the invasiveness of the wild type and that of an ompX deletion mutant strain of E. cloacae; they were equally as invasive or less invasive than S. typhimurium LT7. The invasiveness of an OmpX overproducer strain of E. cloacae was 10-fold higher than that of its immediate parent carrying only the multicopy plasmid, higher than that of S. typhimurium LT7, but lower than that of S. typhimurium TML. The invasiveness of E. cloacae thus varied directly with the level of OmpX in the outer membrane in rabbit ileal enterocytes challenged in situ.

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