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Mol Microbiol. 2011 Jun;80(6):1420-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07661.x. Epub 2011 May 5.

Enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli: even more subversive elements.

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Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.


The human pathogens enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC) share a unique mechanism of colonization that results from the concerted action of effector proteins translocated into the host cell by a type III secretion system (T3SS). EPEC and EHEC not only induce characteristic attaching and effacing (A/E) lesions, but also subvert multiple host cell signalling pathways during infection. Our understanding of the mechanisms by which A/E pathogens hijack host cell signalling has advanced dramatically in recent months with the identification of novel activities for many effectors. In addition to further characterization of established effectors (Tir, EspH and Map), new effectors have emerged as important mediators of virulence through activities such as mimicry of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (Map and EspM), inhibition of apoptosis (NleH and NleD), interference with inflammatory signalling pathways (NleB, NleC, NleE and NleH) and phagocytosis (EspF, EspH and EspJ). The findings have highlighted the multifunctional nature of the effectors and their ability to participate in redundant, synergistic or antagonistic relationships, acting in a co-ordinated spatial and temporal manner on different host organelles and cellular pathways during infection.

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