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Quorum sensing in Escherichia coli

Grant number: 08/05519-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2009 - December 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Palma Sircili
Grantee:Marcelo Palma Sircili
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) are part of a group of pathogens that are able to cause a characteristic lesion in cultured intestinal epithelial cells named attaching and effacing (A/E). This lesion is characterized by the disruption of intestinal microvilli, intimate adherence of bacteria and reorganization of citoskeleton proteins, resulting in a pedestal formation. The genes responsible for A/E lesion are localized in a 35, 6 kb pathogenicity island named Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE). The LEE genes transcription is regulated by several factors, including quorum sensing. Quorum sensing is utilized to define a density dependent system of gene regulation. This system is used by both Gram positive and Gram negative strains, and is based on the production and detection of extracellular signaling molecules called autoinducers. The aim of this study is verify the influence of normal intestinal microbiota in the virulence of typical and atypical EPEC strains. (AU)

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