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Biological activities of the autotransporter protein PIC of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli

Abstract

Although the mortality rate due to diarrheal diseases has decreased significantly, about two million of deaths in consequence of these syndromes are still reported worldwide. Most cases occur in children under five years old, living in developing countries and is usually associated with malnutrition. Escherichia coli, with its set of virulence factors is one of the main microorganisms involved in cases of diarrhea, accounting for high morbidity and mortality. E. coli that cause diarrhea are known as diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) and are classified into six pathotypes. Among the pathotypes of DEC, enteropathogenic (EPEC) and enteroaggregative (EAEC) E. coli are considered emergent pathogens. EPEC have the ability to cause histopathological lesions on the intestinal mucosa called attaching-effacing. This injury causes destruction of intestinal microvilli, intimate adherence of bacteria to the apical membrane of the enterocyte and formation of cellular structures similar to pedestals, where the bacterium is attached. EPEC are classified as typical (tEPEC) and atypical (aEPEC), where the basic difference between the two groups is the presence of the EAF plasmid in tEPEC and its absence in aEPEC. EAEC is defined as the DEC that adheres to epithelial cells in a pattern known as aggregative adhesion. Several virulence factors have been described in EAEC, including an autotransporter protein known as Pic (protein Involved in colonization), responsible for mucin degradation, resistance to serum bactericidal activity and hemagglutination. Pic is also present in uropathogenic E. coli and Shigella flexneri. In a recent study in our laboratory, evaluating the presence of virulence markers of other pathotypes of DEC in aEPEC, it was detected one strain harboring the pic gene. Since there are no reports of the presence of Pic in aEPEC, this work has as main objective the phenotypic characterization of the Pic protein expressed by a aEPEC strain and the evaluation of its role in aEPEC pathogenesis. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FREIRE, CLAUDIA A.; SANTOS, ANA CAROLINA M.; PIGNATARI, ANTONIO C.; SILVA, ROSA M.; ELIAS, WALDIR P. Serine protease autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae (SPATEs) are largely distributed among Escherichia coli isolated from the bloodstream. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, v. 51, n. 2, p. 447-454, JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 2.
MARTINS, FERNANDO H.; KUMAR, ASHWANI; ABE, CECILIA M.; CARVALHO, ENEAS; NISHIYAMA-JR, MILTON; XING, CHAO; SPERANDIO, VANESSA; ELIAS, WALDIR P. EspFu-Mediated Actin Assembly Enhances Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Adherence and Activates Host Cell Inflammatory Signaling Pathways. MBIO, v. 11, n. 2 MAR-APR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ABREU, AFONSO G.; FRAGA, TATIANA R.; GRANADOS MARTINEZ, ADRIANA P.; KONDO, MARCIA Y.; JULIANO, MARIA A.; JULIANO, LUIZ; NAVARRO-GARCIA, FERNANDO; ISAAC, LOURDES; BARBOSA, ANGELA S.; ELIAS, WALDIR P. The Serine Protease Pic From Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Mediates Immune Evasion by the Direct Cleavage of Complement Proteins. Journal of Infectious Diseases, v. 212, n. 1, p. 106-115, JUL 1 2015. Web of Science Citations: 16.

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