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Mol Microbiol. 2007 Mar;63(6):1684-700.

OmpC and the sigma(E) regulatory pathway are involved in adhesion and invasion of the Crohn's disease-associated Escherichia coli strain LF82.

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Univ Clermont 1, Pathogénie Bactérienne Intestinale, USC INRA 2018, Clermont-Ferrand F-63000, France.


Ileal lesions of 36.4% of patients with Crohn's disease (CD), an inflammatory bowel disease in humans, are colonized by pathogenic adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC), and high levels of antibodies directed against E. coli OmpC are present in 37-55% of CD patients. We therefore investigated the expression of OmpC and its role in the interaction of CD-associated adherent-invasive E. coli strain LF82 with intestinal epithelial cells. High osmolarity induced a significant increase in the ability of LF82 bacteria to interact with Intestine-407 cells, which correlates with increased OmpC expression. Deletion of ompC gene markedly decreased the adhesion and invasion levels of the corresponding mutant. A LF82-DeltaompR mutant impaired in OmpC and OmpF expression, showed decreased adhesion and invasion, and unlike a K-12-negative OmpR mutant did not express flagella and type 1 pili. Interestingly, the wild-type phenotype was restored when OmpC or OmpF expression was induced in the LF82-DeltaompR mutant. Overexpression of RpoE in the LF82-DeltaompR isogenic mutant restored a full wild-type phenotype without restoring OmpC expression. Increased expression of RpoE was observed in wild-type strain LF82 at high osmolarity. Hence, the role of OmpC in the AIEC LF82 adhesion and invasion is indirect and involves the sigma(E) regulatory pathway.

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