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Gene. 1993 Jul 15;129(1):87-92.

Sequence of a variant Shiga-like toxin type-I operon of Escherichia coli O111:H-.

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Department of Microbiology, Adelaide Children's Hospital, Australia.


PCR amplification was used to screen faecal isolates of Escherichia coli from a 12-month-old boy with haemolytic uraemic syndrome for the presence of Shiga-like toxin (SLT)-encoding genes. One isolate, belonging to serotype O111:H-, was positive for SLT-I by this method. UV induction indicated that the strain was lysogenic for a lambdoid bacteriophage, but this did not encode the toxin. Southern hybridization analysis of chromosomal DNA revealed that the SLT-I gene was located on an 8.5-kb EcoRI fragment. SLT-I was further localized to within a 3.0-kb SphI-EcoRI fragment. A separate subclone contained a 3.75-kb HindIII fragment, 1.18 kb of which was common to both. Nucleotide sequence analysis of derivatives of these clones revealed that the SLT-I A subunit gene from E. coli O111:H- differed from the previously published sequences for SLT-I by 5 bp [resulting in two amino acid (aa) changes]. It was more closely related to the gene encoding the A subunit of the Shiga toxin from Shigella dysenteriae type 1, from which it differed by 3 bp (resulting in one aa change). The DNA sequence of the B subunit-encoding gene was identical to that of the other two toxins. The region of DNA upstream from the SLT-I of E. coli O111:H- contained an IS element, as well as a region with strong homology to a portion of the genome of bacteriophage lambda.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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