A C-terminal class I PDZ binding motif of EspI/NleA modulates the virulence of attaching and effacing Escherichia coli and Citrobacter rodentium

Sau Fung Lee, Michelle Louise Kelly, Adrian Dale McAlister, Shelley Narelle Luck, Erin L Garcia, Randy A Hall, Roy Michael Robins-Browne, Gad M Frankel, Elizabeth Louise Hartland

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli induces characteristic attaching-effacing (A/E) lesions on the intestinal mucosa during infection. The locus of enterocyte effacement is essential for A/E lesion formation and encodes a type III secretion system that translocates multiple effector proteins into the host cell. Following translocation, EspI/NleA localizes to the Golgi. Using the yeast two-hybrid system (Y2HS) and PSD-95/Disk-large/ZO-1 (PDZ)-domain protein array overlays, we identified 15 putative host-interacting partners of EspI. All but two of the target proteins contained PDZ domains. Examination of the EspI amino acid sequence revealed a C-terminal consensus class I PDZ binding motif. Deletion of the last 7 amino acids of EspI to generate EspI(DeltaC7) abrogated the Y2HS interaction between EspI and 5 of the 6 putative host cell target proteins tested. Deletion of the EspI PDZ binding motif also resulted in delayed trafficking of EspI to the Golgi. Using a mouse model of infection, we showed that Citrobacter rodentium expressing truncated EspI(DeltaC7) was attenuated when in competition with C. rodentium expressing full-length EspI. Overall, these results suggested that EspI may modulate the virulence of A/E pathogens by binding host PDZ-domain proteins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499 - 513
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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