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Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 20;6:6592. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7592.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli senses low biotin status in the large intestine for colonization and infection.

Author information

1
1] TEDA Institute of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Nankai University, TEDA, Tianjin 300457, P.R. China [2] Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300071, P.R. China.
2
1] TEDA Institute of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Nankai University, TEDA, Tianjin 300457, P.R. China [2] Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300071, P.R. China [3] Tianjin Key Laboratory of Microbial Functional Genomics, Tianjin 300457, P.R. China [4] State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, P.R. China [5] SynBio Research Platform, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin 300072, P.R. China.
3
1] TEDA Institute of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Nankai University, TEDA, Tianjin 300457, P.R. China [2] Key Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Technology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300071, P.R. China [3] Tianjin Key Laboratory of Microbial Functional Genomics, Tianjin 300457, P.R. China [4] State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, P.R. China.

Abstract

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is an important foodborne pathogen that infects humans by colonizing the large intestine. Here we identify a virulence-regulating pathway in which the biotin protein ligase BirA signals to the global regulator Fur, which in turn activates LEE (locus of enterocyte effacement) genes to promote EHEC adherence in the low-biotin large intestine. LEE genes are repressed in the high-biotin small intestine, thus preventing adherence and ensuring selective colonization of the large intestine. The presence of this pathway in all nine EHEC serotypes tested indicates that it is an important evolutionary strategy for EHEC. The pathway is incomplete in closely related small-intestinal enteropathogenic E. coli due to the lack of the Fur response to BirA. Mice fed with a biotin-rich diet show significantly reduced EHEC adherence, indicating that biotin might be useful to prevent EHEC infection in humans.

PMID:
25791315
PMCID:
PMC4382993
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms7592
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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