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Prevalence of ompT among Escherichia coli isolates of human origin

Michael D. Lundrigan , Risa M. Webb
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1992.tb05438.x 51-56 First published online: 1 October 1992


OmpT is a protease associated with the outer membrane of Escherichia coli and possesses a high degree of homology to the plasminogen activator, Pla, of Yersinia pestis. We show here that OmpT from intact cells can indeed activate plasminogen. Clinical specimens of E. coli were examined for protease activity and for the ompT gene. Few isolates (12%) were found to be positive for OmpT acitivity, whereas most (77%) carried the ompt gene and expressed the cloned protease gene. In this report we present evidence suggesting that the surface architecture of E. coli influences the activity of OmpT and that OmpT may be indicative of the pathogenic potential of the organism.

Key words
  • OmpT
  • Outer membrane
  • Plasminogen activator
  • Virulence factor
  • Escherichia coli

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