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Transport proteins promoting E. coli pathogenesis /

Abstract

Escherichia coli is a genetically diverse species infecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide annually. We examined seven well-characterized E. coli pathogens causing urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, pyelonephritis and haemorrhagic colitis. Their transport proteins were identified and compared with each other and a non-pathogenic E. coli K12 strain to identify transport proteins related to pathogenesis. Each pathogen possesses a unique set of protein secretion systems for export to the cell surface or for injecting effector proteins into host cells. Pathogens have increased numbers of iron siderophore receptors and ABC iron uptake transporters, but the numbers and types of low -affinity secondary iron carriers were uniform in all strains. The presence of outer membrane iron complex receptors and high-affinity ABC iron uptake systems correlated, suggesting co-evolution. Further, increased numbers of TonB and TolA receptor energizers were observed in those pathogens having increased iron acquisition capabilities. Each pathovar encodes a different set of pore-forming toxins and virulence-related outer membrane proteins lacking in K12. Intracellular pathogens proved to have a characteristically distinctive set of nutrient uptake porters, different from those of extracellular pathogens. The results presented in this report provide information about transport systems relevant to various types of E. coli pathogenesis that can be exploited in future basic and applied studies

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