Tir (translocated intimin receptor) is an essential component in the adherence of the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorraghic Escherichia coli (EHEC) to the cells lining the small intestine. To aid attachment, both EPEC and EHEC possess the ability to reorganise the host cell actin cytoskeleton via the secretion of virulence factors. These factors are secreted directly into the cells using a Type three secretion system. One of the virulence factors secreted is the Translocated Intimin Receptor (Tir). Tir is a receptor protein encoded by the espE gene which is located on the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island in EPEC strains. It is secreted into the host cell membranes and acts as a receptor for intimin which is found on the bacterial surface. Once Tir binds intimin, the bacterium is attached to the enterocyte surface.
Tir is also a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that initiates its intimate adherence by inserting a hairpin orientation in the intestinal cell membrane to enable tight binding to intimin on the bacterial cell outer membrane. Upon phosphorylation, Tir activates condensation and polymerization of actin filaments under the bacterial cell to form a pedestal-like structure.
Virulence is a pathogen's or microorganism's ability to cause damage to a host.
Secretion is the movement of material from one point to another, such as a secreted chemical substance from a cell or gland. In contrast, excretion is the removal of certain substances or waste products from a cell or organism. The classical mechanism of cell secretion is via secretory portals at the plasma membrane called porosomes. Porosomes are permanent cup-shaped lipoprotein structures embedded in the cell membrane, where secretory vesicles transiently dock and fuse to release intra-vesicular contents from the cell.
Adhesins are cell-surface components or appendages of bacteria that facilitate adhesion or adherence to other cells or to surfaces, usually in the host they are infecting or living in. Adhesins are a type of virulence factor.
Shigella flexneri is a species of Gram-negative bacteria in the genus Shigella that can cause diarrhea in humans. Several different serogroups of Shigella are described; S. flexneri belongs to group B. S. flexneri infections can usually be treated with antibiotics, although some strains have become resistant. Less severe cases are not usually treated because they become more resistant in the future. Shigella are closely related to Escherichia coli, but can be differentiated from E.coli based on pathogenicity, physiology and serology.
Virulence factors are cellular structures, molecules and regulatory systems that enable microbial pathogens to achieve the following:
Microfold cells are found in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) of the Peyer's patches in the small intestine, and in the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) of other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. These cells are known to initiate mucosal immunity responses on the apical membrane of the M cells and allow for transport of microbes and particles across the epithelial cell layer from the gut lumen to the lamina propria where interactions with immune cells can take place.
Host tropism is the infection specificity of certain pathogens to particular hosts and host tissues. This explains why most pathogens are only capable of infecting a limited range of host organisms.
Intimin is a virulence factor (adhesin) of EPEC and EHEC E. coli strains. It is an attaching and effacing (A/E) protein, which with other virulence factors is necessary and responsible for enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic diarrhoea.
The type III secretion system, also called the injectisome, is one of the bacterial secretion systems used by bacteria to secrete their effector proteins into the host's cells to promote virulence and colonisation. The T3SS is a needle-like protein complex found in several species of pathogenic gram-negative bacteria.
Within molecular and cell biology membrane ruffling (also known as cell ruffling) is the formation of a motile cell surface that contains a meshwork of newly polymerized actin filaments. It can also be regarded as one of the earliest structural changes observed in the cell. The GTP-binding protein Rac is the regulator of this membrane ruffling. Changes in the Polyphosphoinositide metabolism and changes in Ca2+ level of the cell may also play an important role. A number of actin-binding and organizing proteins localize to membrane ruffles and potentially target to transducing molecules.
Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria whose infection causes a syndrome that is identical to shigellosis, with profuse diarrhea and high fever. EIEC are highly invasive, and they use adhesin proteins to bind to and enter intestinal cells. They produce no toxins, but severely damage the intestinal wall through mechanical cell destruction.
The RTX toxin superfamily is a group of cytolysins and cytotoxins produced by bacteria. There are over 1000 known members with a variety of functions. The RTX family is defined by two common features: characteristic repeats in the toxin protein sequences, and extracellular secretion by the type I secretion systems (T1SS). The name RTX refers to the glycine and aspartate-rich repeats located at the C-terminus of the toxin proteins, which facilitate export by a dedicated T1SS encoded within the rtx operon.
Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) are strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli that produce Shiga toxin. Only a minority of the strains cause illness in humans. The ones that do are collectively known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and are major causes of foodborne illness. When infecting the large intestine of humans, they often cause gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, and bloody diarrhea and sometimes cause a severe complication called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Cattle is an important natural reservoir for EHEC because the colonised adult ruminants are asymptomatic. This is because they lack vascular expression of the target receptor for Shiga toxins. The group and its subgroups are known by various names. They are distinguished from other strains of intestinal pathogenic E. coli including enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), and diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC).
OmpT is an aspartyl protease found on the outer membrane of Escherichia coli. OmpT is a subtype of the family of omptin proteases, which are found on some gram-negative species of bacteria.
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli are a pathotype of Escherichia coli which cause acute and chronic diarrhea in both the developed and developing world. They may also cause urinary tract infections. EAEC are defined by their "stacked-brick" pattern of adhesion to the human laryngeal epithelial cell line HEp-2. The pathogenesis of EAEC involves the aggregation of and adherence of the bacteria to the intestinal mucosa, where they elaborate enterotoxins and cytotoxins that damage host cells and induce inflammation that results in diarrhea.
Bacterial effectors are proteins secreted by pathogenic bacteria into the cells of their host, usually using a type 3 secretion system (TTSS/T3SS), a type 4 secretion system (TFSS/T4SS) or a Type VI secretion system (T6SS). Some bacteria inject only a few effectors into their host’s cells while others may inject dozens or even hundreds. Effector proteins may have many different activities, but usually help the pathogen to invade host tissue, suppress its immune system, or otherwise help the pathogen to survive. Effector proteins are usually critical for virulence. For instance, in the causative agent of plague, the loss of the T3SS is sufficient to render the bacteria completely avirulent, even when they are directly introduced into the bloodstream. Gram negative microbes are also suspected to deploy bacterial outer membrane vesicles to translocate effector proteins and virulence factors via a membrane vesicle trafficking secretory pathway, in order to modify their environment or attack/invade target cells, for example, at the host-pathogen interface.
Membrane vesicle trafficking in eukaryotic animal cells involves movement of biochemical signal molecules from synthesis-and-packaging locations in the Golgi body to specific release locations on the inside of the plasma membrane of the secretory cell. It takes place in the form of Golgi membrane-bound micro-sized vesicles, termed membrane vesicles (MVs).
Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are vesicles of lipids released from the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria. These vesicles were the first bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) to be discovered, while Gram-positive bacteria release vesicles as well. Outer membrane vesicles were first discovered and characterized using transmission-electron microscopy by Indian Scientist Prof. Smriti Narayan Chatterjee and J. Das in 1966-67. OMVs are ascribed the functionality to provide a manner to communicate among themselves, with other microorganisms in their environment and with the host. These vesicles are involved in trafficking bacterial cell signaling biochemicals, which may include DNA, RNA, proteins, endotoxins and allied virulence molecules. This communication happens in microbial cultures in oceans, inside animals, plants and even inside the human body.
The locus of enterocyte effacement-encoded regulator (Ler) is a regulatory protein that controls bacterial pathogenicity of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). More specifically, Ler regulates the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island genes, which are responsible for creating intestinal attachment and effacing lesions and subsequent diarrhea: LEE1, LEE2, and LEE3. LEE1, 2, and 3 carry the information necessary for a type III secretion system. The transcript encoding the Ler protein is the open reading frame 1 on the LEE1 operon.
Bacterial secretion systems are protein complexes present on the cell membranes of bacteria for secretion of substances. Specifically, they are the cellular devices used by pathogenic bacteria to secrete their virulence factors to invade the host cells. They can be classified into different types based on their specific structure, composition and activity. Generally, proteins can be secreted through two different processes. One process is a one-step mechanism in which proteins from the cytoplasm of bacteria are transported and delivered directly through the cell membrane into the host cell. Another involves a two-step activity in which the proteins are first transported out of the inner cell membrane, then deposited in the periplasm, and finally through the outer cell membrane into the host cell.