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Infect Immun. 1995 May;63(5):1767-76.

A plasmid-encoded regulatory region activates chromosomal eaeA expression in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.

Abstract

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) organisms produce a characteristic histopathology in intestinal epithelial cells called attaching and effacing lesions. The eaeA gene is associated with attaching and effacing lesions and encodes intimin, a 94-kDa outer membrane protein. A 60-MDa plasmid, pMAR2, is essential for full virulence of EPEC strain E2348/69 (O127:H6). We have cloned sequences from pMAR2 that increase expression of the chromosomal eaeA gene as shown by increased alkaline phosphatase activity of an eaeA::TnphoA gene fusion, increased expression of the intimin protein, and increased production of eaeA mRNA. These sequences are called per for plasmid-encoded regulator. pMAR2-cured JPN15 containing cloned per sequences adheres to HEp-2 cells in greater numbers than JPN15 carrying the plasmid vector only. The cloned per sequences contain four open reading frames (ORFs) which have been designated perA through perD. Only perC can by itself activate expression of eaeA::TnphoA, although the levels of alkaline phosphatase activity seen with this ORF alone are considerably lower than those seen when all four ORFs are present. The molecular sizes of polypeptides predicted from perA, perB, perC, and perD ORFs are 24, 14.8, 10.5, and 9.4 kDa, respectively. The PerA predicted protein shares homology with members of the AraC family of bacterial regulators, but PerB, PerC, and PerD have no striking homology with previously described prokaryotic proteins. Our studies indicate that plasmid-encoded factors regulate the expression of eaeA and possibly genes encoding other outer membrane proteins and may be important for virulence of EPEC.

PMID:
7729884
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC173222
Free PMC Article
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