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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Dec;80(23):7337-47. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02114-14. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

The Intimin-Like Protein FdeC Is Regulated by H-NS and Temperature in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

Author information

1
Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia.
2
Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia.
3
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia.
4
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia.
5
Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia m.schembri@uq.edu.au.

Abstract

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is a Shiga-toxigenic pathogen capable of inducing severe forms of enteritis (e.g., hemorrhagic colitis) and extraintestinal sequelae (e.g., hemolytic-uremic syndrome). The molecular basis of colonization of human and animal hosts by EHEC is not yet completely understood, and an improved understanding of EHEC mucosal adherence may lead to the development of interventions that could disrupt host colonization. FdeC, also referred to by its IHE3034 locus tag ECOK1_0290, is an intimin-like protein that was recently shown to contribute to kidney colonization in a mouse urinary tract infection model. The expression of FdeC is tightly regulated in vitro, and FdeC shows promise as a vaccine candidate against extraintestinal E. coli strains. In this study, we characterized the prevalence, regulation, and function of fdeC in EHEC. We showed that the fdeC gene is conserved in both O157 and non-O157 EHEC and encodes a protein that is expressed at the cell surface and promotes biofilm formation under continuous-flow conditions in a recombinant E. coli strain background. We also identified culture conditions under which FdeC is expressed and showed that minor alterations of these conditions, such as changes in temperature, can significantly alter the level of FdeC expression. Additionally, we demonstrated that the transcription of the fdeC gene is repressed by the global regulator H-NS. Taken together, our data suggest a role for FdeC in EHEC when it grows at temperatures above 37°C, a condition relevant to its specialized niche at the rectoanal junctions of cattle.

PMID:
25239893
PMCID:
PMC4249167
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.02114-14
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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