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Articles by Alfredo G. Torres
Total Records ( 3 ) for Alfredo G. Torres
  Ann G. Matthysse , Rajendar Deora , Meenu Mishra and Alfredo G. Torres
  When Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria are added to alfalfa sprouts growing in water, the bacteria bind tightly to the sprouts. In contrast, laboratory K-12 strains of E. coli do not bind to sprouts under similar conditions. The roles of E. coli O157:H7 lipopolysaccharide (LPS), capsular polysaccharide, and exopolysaccharides in binding to sprouts were examined. An LPS mutant had no effect on the binding of the pathogenic strain. Cellulose synthase mutants showed a significant reduction in binding; colanic acid mutants were more severely reduced, and binding by poly-β-1,6-N-acetylglucosamine (PGA) mutants was barely detectable. The addition of a plasmid carrying a cellulose synthase gene to K-12 strains allowed them to bind to sprouts. A plasmid carrying the Bps biosynthesis genes had only a marginal effect on the binding of K-12 bacteria. However, the introduction of the same plasmid allowed Sinorhizobium meliloti and a nonbinding mutant of Agrobacterium tumefaciens to bind to tomato root segments. These results suggest that although multiple redundant protein adhesins are involved in the binding of E. coli O157:H7 to sprouts, the polysaccharides required for binding are not redundant and each polysaccharide may play a distinct role. PGA, colanic acid, and cellulose were also required for biofilm formation by a K-12 strain on plastic, but not for the binding of E. coli O157:H7 to mammalian cells.
  Alfredo G. Torres , Terry M. Slater , Shilpa D. Patel , Vsevolod L. Popov and Margarita M. P. Arenas-Hernandez
  The expression of the long polar fimbriae (LPF) of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 is controlled by a tightly regulated process, and, therefore, the role of these fimbriae during binding to epithelial cells has been difficult to establish. We recently found that histone-like nucleoid-structuring protein (H-NS) binds to the regulatory sequence of the E. coli O157:H7 lpf1 operon and "silences" its transcription, while Ler inhibits the action of the H-NS protein and allows lpf1 to be expressed. In the present study, we determined how the deregulated expression of LPF affects binding of EHEC O157:H7 to tissue-cultured cells, correlating the adherence phenotype with lpf1 expression. We tested the adherence properties of EHEC hns mutant and found that this strain adhered 2.8-fold better than the wild type. In contrast, the EHEC ler mutant adhered 2.1-fold less than the wild type. The EHEC hns ler mutant constitutively expressed the lpf genes, and, therefore, we observed that the double mutant adhered 5.6-fold times better than the wild type. Disruption of lpfA in the EHEC hns and hns ler mutants or the addition of anti-LpfA serum caused a reduction in adhesion, demonstrating that the increased adherence was due to the expression of LPF. Immunogold-labeling electron microscopy showed that LPF is present on the surface of EHEC lpfA+ strains. Furthermore, we showed that EHEC expressing LPF agglutinates red blood cells from different species and that the agglutination was blocked by the addition of anti-LpfA serum. Overall, our data confirmed that expression of LPF is a tightly regulated process and, for the first time, demonstrated that these fimbriae are associated with adherence and hemagglutination phenotypes in EHEC O157:H7.
  Roberto C. Vazquez-Juarez , Jeeba A. Kuriakose , David A. Rasko , Jennifer M. Ritchie , Melissa M. Kendall , Terry M. Slater , Mala Sinha , Bruce A. Luxon , Vsevolod L. Popov , Matthew K. Waldor , Vanessa Sperandio and Alfredo G. Torres
  Adherence of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains to intestinal epithelia is essential for infection. For enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serotype O157:H7, we have previously demonstrated that multiple factors govern this pathogen’s adherence to HeLa cells (A. G. Torres and J. B. Kaper, Infect. Immun. 71:4985-4995, 2003). One of these factors is CadA, a lysine decarboxylase, and this protein has been proposed to negatively regulate virulence in several enteric pathogens. In the case of EHEC strains, CadA modulates expression of the intimin, an outer membrane adhesin involved in pathogenesis. Here, we inactivated cadA in O157:H7 strain 86-24 to investigate the role of this gene in EHEC adhesion to tissue-cultured monolayers, global gene expression patterns, and colonization of the infant rabbit intestine. The cadA mutant did not possess lysine decarboxylation activity and was hyperadherent to tissue-cultured cells. Adherence of the cadA mutant was nearly twofold greater than that of the wild type, and the adherence phenotype was independent of pH, lysine, or cadaverine in the media. Additionally, complementation of the cadA defect reduced adherence back to wild-type levels, and it was found that the mutation affected the expression of the intimin protein. Disruption of the eae gene (intimin-encoding gene) in the cadA mutant significantly reduced its adherence to tissue-cultured cells. However, adherence of the cadA eae double mutant was greater than that of an 86-24 eae mutant, suggesting that the enhanced adherence of the cadA mutant is not entirely attributable to enhanced expression of intimin in this background. Gene array analysis revealed that the cadA mutation significantly altered EHEC gene expression patterns; expression of 1,332 genes was downregulated and that of 132 genes was upregulated in the mutant compared to the wild-type strain. Interestingly, the gene expression variation shows an EHEC-biased gene alteration including intergenic regions. Two putative adhesins, flagella and F9 fimbria, were upregulated in the cadA mutant, suggestive of their association with adherence in the absence of the Cad regulatory mechanism. In the infant rabbit model, the cadA mutant outcompeted the wild-type strain in the ileum but not in the cecum or mid-colon, raising the possibility that CadA negatively regulates EHEC pathogenicity in a tissue-specific fashion.
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