The type III secretion system (T3SS)-Translocon of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) can mediate adherence

The intimin protein is the major adhesin involved in the intimate adherence of atypicalenteropathogenicEscherichia coli(aEPEC) strains to epithelial cells, but little is knownabout the structures involved in their early colonization process. A previous studydemonstrated that the type III secretion system (T3SS) plays an additional role in theadherence of anEscherichia albertiistrain. Therefore, we assumed that the T3SS couldbe related to the adherence efficiency of aEPEC during the first stages of contactwith epithelial cells. To test this hypothesis, we examined the adherence of sevenaEPEC strains and theireae(intimin) isogenic mutants in the standard HeLa adherenceassay and observed that all wild-type strains were adherent while five isogeniceaemutants were not. The twoeaemutant strains that remained adherent were then usedto generate theeae/escNdouble mutants (encoding intimin and the T3SS ATPase,respectively) and after the adherence assay, we observed that one strain lost itsadherence capacity. This suggested a role for the T3SS in the initial adherence stepsof this strain. In addition, we demonstrated that this strain expressed the T3SS atsignificantly higher levels when compared to the other wild-type strains and that itproduced longer translocon-filaments. Our findings reveal that the T3SS-transloconcan play an additional role as an adhesin at the beginning of the colonization processof aEPEC.
Keywords
adherence;  atypical EPEC;  EspB;  EspD;  polymorphism;  gene expressio;  type III secretion system(T3SS)-translocon;  EspA

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Santos FF., Abe CM, Piazza RMF, Elias WP, Bryant JA., Hernandes RT., et al. The type III secretion system (T3SS)-Translocon of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) can mediate adherence. Front Microbiol. 2019 Jul;10:1527. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.01527.
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