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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 Oct 15;179(2):409-14.

Characterization of the integration site of Yersinia high-pathogenicity island in Escherichia coli.

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Max von Pettenkofer-Institut, Pettenkoferstr. 9a, 80336, M√ľnchen, Germany.


The high-pathogenicity island (HPI) of virulent Yersiniae consists of (i) a functional core encoding for biosynthesis and uptake of the siderophore yersiniabactin and (ii) a 5- to 13-kb AT-rich region of unknown function. This Yersinia HPI has been shown to be widely distributed among different pathotypes of Escherichia coli. In this study, the insertion site of the HPI was defined in three different E. coli strains: The enteroaggregative E. coli (EAggEC) strain 17-2, the uropathogenic (UPEC) E. coli strain 536, and the probiotic E. coli DSM6601. We demonstrated that in all three E. coli isolates the HPI is associated with the asnT tRNA (5'-extremity) and truncated in the AT-rich region (3'-extremity) since the 17-bp direct repeat (DR) of the asn tRNA that flanks the HPI in Yersinia is missing in E. coli. Moreover, in comparison to the HPI-negative E. coli K-12 strain, a uniform deletion must have taken place in the E. coli chromosome adjacent to the 3'-border of the HPI.

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