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Gene. 1997 Jun 11;192(1):39-43.

Longus pilus of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and its relatedness to other type-4 pili--a minireview.

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Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Microbiológicas, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Pue, Mexico.


Longus is a long pilus produced by human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) which shares significant structural and biochemical features with class-B type-4 pili. These pili include the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) of Vibrio cholerae, the bundle-forming pilus (BFP) of enteropathogenic E. coli and both longus and the colonization factor antigen III (CFA/III) of ETEC. These pili are produced under defined growth conditions indicating that they are under the control of different regulatory elements. While TCP is chromosomally encoded, the remaining pili are encoded on large virulence plasmids. Longus and CFA/III are closely related pili although certain DNA and protein differences also exist between them. This may account for the differences in the regulation, surface presentation, antigenicity, and prevalence of these two pilins among ETEC. Neighboring lngA, a second open reading frame termed lngB was found which encodes a protein with significant homology to proteins which are part of a type-II secretory system such as XcpV, OutC, and PulO of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Erwinia chrysanthemi, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, respectively. This suggests that lngB may be an accessory gene involved in biogenesis of longus.

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