Molecular and ultrastructural characterisation of EspA from different enteropathogenic Escherichia coli serotypes

Bianca C. Neves, Stuart Knutton, Luiz R. Trabulsi, Vanessa Sperandio, James B. Kaper, Gordon Dougan, Gad Frankel

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) encode a type III secretion system located on a pathogenicity island known as the locus for enterocyte effacement. Four proteins are known to be exported by this type III secretion system - EspA, EspB and EspD required for subversion of host cell signal transduction pathways and a translocated intimin receptor protein (Tir) required for intimin-mediated intimate attachment and attaching and effacing lesion formation. The espA gene is located within the locus for enterocyte effacement and the EspA polypeptide from the prototype EPEC strain E2348/69 (O127:H6) has recently been shown to be a component of a filamentous structure involved in bacteria-host cell interaction and locus for enterocyte effacement-encoded protein translocation involved in attaching and effacing lesion formation. In this study we have extended our investigation of EspA to strains belonging to other classical EPEC serotypes. DNA sequencing demonstrated that the espA gene from the different EPEC strains share at least 65% DNA identity. In addition, we detected morphologically and antigenically similar EspA filaments in all but one of the bacterial strains examined including recombinant, non-pathogenic E. coli expressing espA from a cloned locus for enterocyte effacement region (HB101(pCVD462)). Copyright (C) 1998 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli
  • EspA
  • EspA filament

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