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Host cell attachment elicits posttranscriptional regulation in infecting enteropathogenic bacteria

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Science  17 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6326, pp. 735-739
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4886

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Touchdown for gut pathogen virulence

Escherichia coli is transformed from a commensal organism into a pathogen by acquisition of genetic elements called pathogenicity islands (PAIs). Katsowich et al. investigated how the PAI virulence genes of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) respond when the bacterium attaches to a host gut cell. EPEC first sticks to the host by means of pili and then uses a PAI-encoded type 3 secretion system (T3SS) to inject multiple effectors into the host cell. But not all virulence mediators are injected. For example, CesT, a bacterial chaperone, delivers virulence effectors into the T3SS apparatus. Then, within the bacterial cytoplasm, it interacts with a gene repressor called CsrA, which reprograms bacterial gene expression to help the bacteria to adapt to epithelial cell–associated life.

Science, this issue p. 735