Article

In vitro effects of a high-molecular-weight heat-labile enterotoxin from enteroaggregative Escherichia coli

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNAM, 04510 Mexico DF, Mexico.
Infection and Immunity (Impact Factor: 4.16). 07/1998; 66(7):3149-54.
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ABSTRACT The pathogenic mechanisms of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC) infection are not fully elucidated. In this work we show that an ammonium sulfate precipitate of culture supernatant of EAggEC strain 049766 increased the potential difference (PD) and the short-circuit current (Isc) in rat jejunal preparations mounted in Ussing chambers. The precipitate contained two major proteins of 108 and 116 kDa, which were partially copurified by chromatography in DEAE-cellulose. This chromatographic fraction (peak I) increased jejunal PD and Isc in a dose-dependent manner, accompanied by a decrease in tissue electrical resistance. These effects were inhibited by incubation of peak I at 75 degreesC for 15 min or for 1 h with proteinase K at 37 degreesC. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies against peak I containing both the 108- and 116-kDa proteins inhibited the enterotoxic effect. Specific polyclonal antibodies raised against the 108-kDa but not against the 116-kDa protein inhibited the enterotoxic effect, suggesting that the 108-kDa protein is the active toxic species. Moreover, another EAggEC strain (065126) producing the 116-kDa protein but not the 108-kDa protein had no effect on rat jejunal mucosa in the Ussing chamber. The >100-kDa fraction derived from prototype EAggEC strain 042, which also expressed both 108- and 116-kDa proteins, also produced an enterotoxic effect on rat jejunal preparations in Ussing chambers; however, the same strain cured of its 65-MDa adherence plasmid did not. A subclone derived from the 65-MDa plasmid expressing the 108-kDa toxin (and not the 116-kDa protein) elicited rises in Isc. Tissue exposed to any preparation containing the 108-kDa toxin exhibited similar histopathologic changes, characterized by increased mucus release, exfoliation of cells, and development of crypt abscesses. Our data suggest that some EAggEC strains produce a ca. 108-kDa enterotoxin/cytotoxin which is encoded on the large virulence plasmid.

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    • "Many potential virulence factors are shared with p042 plasmid such as the AAF (agg3) operon and the serine protease pet. Pet is secreted by many EAEC strains and exhibits enterotoxic activity (Navarro-García et al. 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: The genome sequences of two Escherichia coli O104:H4 strains derived from two different patients of the 2011 German E. coli outbreak were determined. The two analyzed strains were designated E. coli GOS1 and GOS2 (German outbreak strain). Both isolates comprise one chromosome of approximately 5.31 Mbp and two putative plasmids. Comparisons of the 5,217 (GOS1) and 5,224 (GOS2) predicted protein-encoding genes with various E. coli strains, and a multilocus sequence typing analysis revealed that the isolates were most similar to the entero-aggregative E. coli (EAEC) strain 55989. In addition, one of the putative plasmids of the outbreak strain is similar to pAA-type plasmids of EAEC strains, which contain aggregative adhesion fimbrial operons. The second putative plasmid harbors genes for extended-spectrum β-lactamases. This type of plasmid is widely distributed in pathogenic E. coli strains. A significant difference of the E. coli GOS1 and GOS2 genomes to those of EAEC strains is the presence of a prophage encoding the Shiga toxin, which is characteristic for enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) strains. The unique combination of genomic features of the German outbreak strain, containing characteristics from pathotypes EAEC and EHEC, suggested that it represents a new pathotype Entero-Aggregative-Haemorrhagic Escherichiacoli (EAHEC). Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00203-011-0725-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Archives of Microbiology 06/2011; 193(12):883-91. DOI:10.1007/s00203-011-0725-6 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    • "The mode of action of Pet has been investigated mostly in HEp-2 cells, a system that helped to delineate the following progression of morphological events during Pet cell intoxication: elongation, followed sequentially by cell shrinkage, rounding, and finally exfoliation from the substratum (Navarro-Garcia et al., 1998). Cell retraction has been correlated with reorganization of the spectrin membrane cytoskeleton (Villaseca et al., 2000) and loss of F-actin stress fibers (Navarro-Garcia et al., 1998). Additional studies suggest that Pet must be internalized into epithelial cells in order to induce toxicity and that its protease activity is "
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    ABSTRACT: Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is an emerging diarrheal pathogen. Many EAEC strains produce the plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet), which exerts cytotoxic effects on human intestinal tissue. Pet-intoxicated HEp-2 cells exhibit rounding and detachment from the substratum, accompanied by loss of F-actin stress fibers and condensation of the spectrin-containing membrane cytoskeleton. Although studies suggest that Pet directly cleaves spectrin, it is not known whether this is the essential mode of action of the toxin. In addition, the effects of Pet on cytoskeletal elements other than actin and spectrin have not been reported. Here, we demonstrate by immunofluorescence that upon Pet intoxication, HEp-2 and HT29 cells lose focal adhesion complexes (FAC), a process that includes the redistribution of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), α-actinin, paxillin, vinculin, F-actin, and spectrin itself. This redistribution was coupled with the depletion of phosphotyrosine labeling at FACs. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that FAK was tyrosine dephosphorylated, before the redistribution of FAK and spectrin. Moreover, phosphatase inhibition blocked cell retraction, suggesting that tyrosine dephosphorylation is an event that precedes FAK cleavage. Finally, we show that in vitro tyrosine-dephosphorylated FAK was susceptible to Pet cleavage. These data suggest that mechanisms other than spectrin redistribution occur during Pet intoxication.
    FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology 12/2010; 61(3):301-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-695X.2010.00776.x · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    • "The diarrhoea induced by EAEC is characterized by persistent liquid evacuation and abundant mucus secretion, frequently accompanied by blood (Nataro et al., 1995). A toxin secreted by EAEC, called plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet), is able to induce enterotoxic and cytotoxic effects in a model of rat intestine preparations mounted in Ussing chambers and in cell cultures (Navarro-Garcia et al., 1998, 1999). Pet is a toxin of 104 kDa encoded on the 65 MDa plasmid AA of EAEC (Eslava et al., 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: In an in vitro model using HEp-2 cells treated with purified plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet), we have identified morphological changes characterized by cell rounding and detachment after toxin internalization; these changes progress to cell death. However, these effects have not yet been shown to occur during the infection of epithelial cells by enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC). Here, we show that the secretion of Pet by EAEC is regulated at the transcriptional level, since secretion was inhibited in eukaryotic cell culture medium, although Pet was efficiently secreted in the same medium supplemented with tryptone. Inefficient secretion of Pet by EAEC in DMEM prevented cell detachment, whereas efficient Pet secretion in DMEM/tryptone increased cell detachment in a HEp-2 cell adherence assay. Interestingly, Pet toxin was efficiently delivered to epithelial cells, since it was internalized into epithelial cells infected with EAEC at similar concentrations to those obtained by using 37 microg ml(-1) purified Pet protein. Additionally, Pet was not internalized when the epithelial cells were infected with a pet clone, HB101(pCEFN1), unlike the wild-type strain, which has a high adherence capability. There is a correlation between Pet secretion by EAEC, the internalization of Pet into epithelial cells, cell detachment and cell death in EAEC-infected cells. The ratio between live and dead cells decreased in cells treated with wild-type EAEC in comparison with cells treated with an isogenic mutant in the pet gene, whereas the effects were restored by complementing the mutant with the pet gene. All these data indicate that Pet is an important virulence factor in the pathogenesis of EAEC infection.
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