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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1988 Sep;4(3):195-222.

ECA, the enterobacterial common antigen.

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Forschungsinstitut Borstel, F.R.G.


Enterobacterial common antigen (ECA) is a family-specific surface antigen shared by all members of the Enterobacteriaceae and is restricted to this family. It is found in freshly isolated wild-type strains as well as in laboratory strains like Escherichia coli K-12. The family specificity of ECA can be used for taxonomic and diagnostic purposes. ECA is located in the outer leaflet of the outer membrane. It is a glycophospholipid built up by an aminosugar heteropolymer linked to an L-glycerophosphatidyl residue. In a few rough mutants, in addition, the sugar chain can be bound to the complete lipopolysaccharide (LPS) core. Recently, for Shigella sonnei a lipid-free cyclic form of ECA was reported. The genetical determination of ECA is closely related to that of lipopolysaccharide. For biosynthesis of ECA and LPS partly the same sugar precursors and the same carrier lipid is used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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