Role of intestinal surfactant-like particles as a potential reservoir of uropathogenic Escherichia coli

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Sep 1;1523(1):49-55. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(00)00095-7.


The binding of uropathogenic Escherichia coli is mediated at the tips of pili by the PapG adhesin, which recognizes the Galalpha(1-4)Gal disaccharide on the uroepithelial surface. These receptors have been identified unequivocally in the human and murine urinary tracts but not in intestinal epithelium, yet uropathogenic E. coli strains are commonly found in normal colonic microflora. The gastrointestinal tract from duodenum to rectum elaborates a phospholipid-rich membrane particle with surfactant-like properties. In these studies, we report that purified murine particles contain a receptor recognized by the class I PapG adhesin because: (1) PapD-PapG complexes and class I pili bound to surfactant-like particles in a solid-phase assay, whereas binding was not detected in microvillous membranes derived from the same tissues, (2) purified PapD-PapG complex bound to a glycolipid receptor detectable in lipid extracts from the particles, and (3) soluble Galalpha(1-4)Gal inhibited the adhesin by 72% from binding to surfactant-like particles. The Galalpha(1-4)Gal receptor present in the intestinal surfactant-like particle which overlies the intestinal mucosa could provide one means to establish an intestinal habitat for uropathogenic E. coli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Escherichia coli / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion*
  • Disease Reservoirs*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / physiopathology
  • Fimbriae Proteins*
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology
  • Glycolipids / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Urothelium / microbiology


  • Adhesins, Escherichia coli
  • Glycolipids
  • PapG protein, E coli
  • Fimbriae Proteins