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Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2003;48(2):139-47.

The Escherichia fergusonii iucABCD iutA genes are located within a larger chromosomal region similar to pathogenicity Islands.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens, Houston Medical School, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA.


Three strains of Escherichia fergusonii (EF873, EF1496, EF939) of 50 strains tested produced the hydroxamate siderophore aerobactin. Screening of a cosmid library of the strain EF873 chromosomal DNA (in aerobactin nonproducing Escherichia coli VCS257) for aerobactin production identified iucABCD and iutA gene orthologues. The predicted IucABCD and IutA proteins showed 59-65% identity to the corresponding proteins of Shigella flexneri and E. coli. Aerobactin molecules synthesized by E. fergusonii and E. coli strains stimulated growth of aerobactin indicator strains harboring either E. coli or E. fergusonii iutA genes. In the 12 kb upstream and 17 kb downstream regions of the iuc and iut genes, 20 additional ORFs were identified. Their gene products showed homology to proteins from E. coli, S. flexneri, Klebsiella aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae. Probes recognizing DNA sequences from a region of more than 25 kb, which included the iucABCD and iutA genes, hybridized with chromosomal DNA of two aerobactin-producing strains (EF873 and EF939), but not with other nonproducing E. fergusonii strains tested. These data, together with the genetic organization of this region, suggest that E. fergusonii iucABCD iutA genes are a portion of a larger segment of DNA similar to pathogenicity islands of other bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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