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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1992 Oct 1;76(1-2):51-6.

Prevalence of ompT among Escherichia coli isolates of human origin.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson 39216.


OmpT is a protease associated with the outer membrane of Escherichia coli and possesses a high degree of homology to the plasminogen activator, Pla, of Yersinia pestis. We show here that OmpT from intact cells can indeed activate plasminogen. Clinical specimens of E. coli were examined for protease activity and for the ompT gene. Few isolates (12%) were found to be positive for OmpT activity, whereas most (77%) carried the ompT gene and expressed the cloned protease gene. In this report we present evidence suggesting that the surface architecture of E. coli influences the activity of OmpT and that OmpT may be indicative of the pathogenic potential of the organism.

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