Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content The molecular basis for the specificity of fimE in the phase variation of type 1 fimbriae of Escherichia coli K-12

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF)
 
The expression of type 1 fimbriae in Escherichia coli is phase variable, with cells switching between fimbriate (ON) and afimbriate (OFF) phases. The phase variation is dependent on the orientation of a 314 bp DNA element (the switch) that undergoes DNA inversion. DNA inversion requires either fimB or fimE, site-specific recombinases that differ in both specificity and activity. Whereas fimB promotes recombination with little orientational bias, fimE promotes recombination in the ON-to-OFF direction exclusively. In wild-type cells, fimE activity predominates and, hence, most bacteria are afimbriate. Here, it is shown that fimE specificity is caused by two different, but complementary, mechanisms. First, FimE shows a strong preference for the switch in the ON orientation as a substrate for recombination. Differences in the nucleotide sequence of the recombinase binding sites is a key factor in determining FimE specificity, although one or more additional cis-active sites that flank the fim switch also appear to be involved. Secondly, the orientation of the switch controls fimE in cis, most probably to control recombinase expression.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1064, USA.

Publication date: February 1, 1999

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more