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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Jun 15;235(2):265-71.

The ypdI gene codes for a putative lipoprotein involved in the synthesis of colanic acid in Escherichia coli.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gdańsk, Kładki 24, 80-822 Gdańsk, Poland.


In Escherichia coli, the synthesis of colanic acid, an extracellular polysaccharide imminent in biofilm development, is a complicated process involving numerous genes and not yet wholly elucidated. Using a plasmid-borne E. coli K-12 gene library, we have identified a clone whose presence conferred mucoid colony phenotype onto E. coli CM2555 strain. Our results indicate that overexpression of a gene previously catalogued as ypdI, which encodes a putative lipoprotein, is responsible for this phenotype. We show that the mucoidy of ypdI -overexpressing bacteria is due to increased production of colanic acid. This phenotype depends on the function of the rcsA gene, but not on that of rcsF. These results suggest that the ypdI gene product might be an additional factor playing a role in colanic acid synthesis, indicating that this process can be even more complicated than supposed to date. However, no obvious phenotype was observed in the DeltaypdI::kan mutant cultivated under standard laboratory conditions.

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