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EMBO J. 1984 May;3(5):1167-73.

Genes of pyelonephritogenic E. coli required for digalactoside-specific agglutination of human cells.


Most pyelonephritic Escherichia coli strains bind to digalactoside-containing glycolipids on uroepithelial cells. Purified Pap pili (pili associated with pyelonephritis) show the same binding specificity. A non-polar mutation early in the papA pilin gene abolishes formation of Pap pili but does not affect the degree of digalactoside-specific hemagglutination. Three novel pap genes, papE , papF and papG are defined in this report. The papF and papG gene products are both required for digalactoside-specific agglutination by whole bacteria cells as well as for agglutination by pilus preparations. Pili prepared from a papE mutant have lost their binding ability although whole cells from this mutant retain it, implying an adhesin anchoring role for the papE gene product. A mutant with lesions both in the papA and the papE genes does not mediate digalactoside-specific agglutination. The implications of this finding for pilus biogenesis are discussed.

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