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Cell Microbiol. 2003 Jun;5(6):359-72.

Adhesion of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli to host cells.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 10 S Pine Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) adhere to the intestinal mucosa and to tissue culture cells in a distinctive fashion, destroying microvilli, altering the cytoskeleton and attaching intimately to the host cell membrane in a manner termed the attaching and effacing effect. Typical EPEC strains also form three-dimensional microcolonies in a pattern termed localized adherence. Attaching and effacing, and in particular intimate attachment requires an outer membrane adhesin called intimin, which binds to the translocated intimin receptor, Tir. Tir is produced by the bacteria and delivered to the host cell via a type III secretion system. In addition to this well-established adhesin-receptor pair, numerous other adhesin interactions between EPEC and host cells have been described including those between intimin and cellular receptors and those involving a bundle-forming pilus and flagella and unknown receptors. Much additional work is needed before a full understanding of EPEC adhesion to host cells comes to light.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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