University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Intimate host attachment: enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

*Bacterial Adhesion; Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli; Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli; Epithelial Cells; *Host-Pathogen Interactions


Bacteriology | Microbial Physiology | Pathogenic Microbiology


Enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli use a novel infection strategy to colonize the gut epithelium, involving translocation of their own receptor, Tir, via a type III secretion system and subsequent formation of attaching and effecting (A/E) lesions. Following integration into the host cell plasma membrane of cultured cells, and clustering by the outer membrane adhesin intimin, Tir triggers multiple actin polymerization pathways involving host and bacterial adaptor proteins that converge on the host Arp2/3 actin nucleator. Although initially thought to be involved in A/E lesion formation, recent data have shown that the known Tir-induced actin polymerization pathways are dispensable for this activity, but can play other major roles in colonization efficiency, in vivo fitness and systemic disease. In this review we summarize the roadmap leading from the discovery of Tir, through the different actin polymerization pathways it triggers, to our current understanding of their physiological functions.

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Citation: Cell Microbiol. 2013 Nov;15(11):1796-808. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12179. Epub 2013 Sep 3. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

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