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Cloning and nucleotide sequence of the eae gene homologue from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7

Glen Beebakhee, Marie Louie, Joyce De Azavedo, James Brunton
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1992.tb05184.x 63-68 First published online: 1 February 1992


The eae gene has recently been shown to be necessary for the attaching and effacing (AE) activity of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) on intestinal epithelial cells. In this paper we report the cloning and nucleotide sequence of a similar gene from a strain of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serotype O157:H7. An EHEC eae sequence was identified which was 97% homologous to the EPEC eae gene for the first 2200 bp and 59% homologous over the last 800 bp. Both eae sequences show 50% homology to the central region of the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis inv gene. The receptor-binding domain of the inv gene product lies near the carboxyl terminus. This suggests that the predicted amino acid sequence divergence in the carboxyl termini of the eae gene products might result in different antigenic and receptor specificity of these putative adhesins.

Key words
  • Escherichia coli
  • Hemorrhagic colitis
  • Adherence
  • Colonization

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