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Infect Immun. 2002 May;70(5):2271-7.

A gene from the locus of enterocyte effacement that is required for enteropathogenic Escherichia coli to increase tight-junction permeability encodes a chaperone for EspF.

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Center for Vaccine Development and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Disruption of the barrier properties of the enterocyte tight junction is believed to be important in the pathogenesis of diarrhea caused by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). This phenotype can be measured in vitro as the ability of EPEC to reduce transepithelial resistance (TER) across enterocyte monolayers and requires the products of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and, in particular, the type III secreted effector protein EspF. We report a second LEE-encoded gene that is also necessary for EPEC to fully reduce TER. rorf10 is not necessary for EPEC adherence, EspADB secretion, or formation of attaching and effacing lesions. However, rorf10 mutants have a diminished TER phenotype, reduced intracellular levels of EspF, and a reduced ability to translocate EspF into epithelial cells. The product of rorf10 is a 14-kDa intracellular protein rich in alpha-helices that specifically interacts with EspF but not with Tir or other EPEC secreted proteins. These properties are consistent with the hypothesis that rorf10 encodes a type III secretion chaperone for EspF, and we rename this protein CesF, the chaperone for EPEC secreted protein F.

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