Thermoregulated expression of virulence genes in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli

Tatiana Umanski, Ilan Rosenshine*, Devorah Friedberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) causes severe diarrhoea in young children. The locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island comprises a cluster of operons encoding a type III secretion system and related proteins that are associated with EPEC virulence. The LEE1 operon encodes Ler that positively regulates the LEE2, LEE3, LEE4, LEE5 and espG transcriptional units. The LEE operons are repressed at 27 °C and expressed at 37 °C. This paper describes a regulatory cascade of the thermoregulation of LEE operons. LEE1 including ler is repressed by H-NS at 27 °C but not at 37 °C. In contrast, the expression of the LEE2, LEE3, LEE4, LEE5 and espG transcriptional units is repressed by H-NS at both 27 °C and 37 °C. Upon shifting the culture temperature from 27 °C to 37 °C, Ler is synthesized and in turn activates the expression of LEE2, LEE3, LEE4 and espG by releasing the H-NS mediated repression. In the case of LEE5, Ler acts both by alleviating the H-NS mediated repression and by an additional mechanism, as yet to be defined.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2735-2744
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobiology
Volume148
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

Keywords

  • EPEC
  • H-NS
  • LEE
  • Ler
  • Thermoregulation

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