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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Apr;4(4):553-9.

The major subunit of Escherichia coli type 1 fimbriae is not required for D-mannose-specific adhesion.

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Department of Microbiology, Technical University of Denmark, Lingby.


Type 1 fimbriae are surface organelles on Escherichia coli, which mediate specific binding to D-mannose-containing structures. These fimbriae are heteropolymers composed of a major building element, the FimA protein, and small amounts of the FimF, FimG and FimH proteins. The FimH protein is uniquely responsible for the D-mannose receptor binding. In this work data are presented which indicate that the major subunit of type 1 fimbriae is dispensable for D-mannose-specific binding. A recombinant strain was studied which harboured an insertional deletion in the fimA gene, and was thereby unable to produce type 1 fimbriae; however, it was still able to express a D-mannose-binding phenotype. However, the deletion resulted in a 25-fold reduction of the adhesive potential, as measured by binding to D-mannose-coated Sepharose beads. Serological and specific receptor binding evidence is presented that suggests that the FimH adhesion is capable of being exposed on the bacterial surface without being an integral part of the fimbriae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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