Journal Article


Stephen G J Smith
Robert P Fagan



cell line bacterial adhesion cricetinae hemagglutination infant newborn humans physiology adhesins bacterial pathogenicity hek protein e coli animals erythrocytes adhesins escherichia coli escherichia coli genetics cricetulus meningitis escherichia coli microbiology epithelial cells metabolism bacterial outer membrane proteins escherichia coli proteins cho cells

The Hek outer membrane protein of Escherichia coli is an auto-aggregating adhesin and invasin. (2007)

Abstract Escherichia coli is the principal gram-negative causative agent of sepsis and meningitis in neonates. The pathogenesis of meningitis due to E. coli K1 involves mucosal colonization, transcytosis of epithelial cells, survival in the blood stream and eventually invasion of the meninges. The latter two aspects have been well characterized at a molecular level in the last decade. Less is known about the early stages of pathogenesis, i.e. adhesion to and invasion of gastrointestinal cells. Here, the characterization of the Hek protein is reported, which is expressed by neonatal meningitic E. coli (NMEC) and is localized to the outer membrane. It is demonstrated that this protein can cause agglutination of red blood cells and can mediate autoaggregation. Escherichia coli expressing this protein can adhere to and invade epithelial cells. So far, this is the first outer membrane protein in NMEC to be directly implicated in epithelial cell invasion.
Collections Ireland -> Trinity College Dublin -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

Stephen G J Smith, Robert P Fagan

Experts in our system

Stephen Smith
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 27