The bundlin pilin protein of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli is an N-acetyllactosamine-specific lectin

Cell Microbiol. 2008 Jan;10(1):177-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.01028.x. Epub 2007 Aug 14.


Synthetic N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) glycoside sequences coupled to BSA competitively inhibit enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) localized adherence (LA) to human intestinal biopsy specimens and tissue culture cell monolayers. The LacNAc-specific adhesin appears to be associated with the bundle-forming pili (BFP) expressed by EPEC during the early stages of colonization. Herein, we report that recombinant bundlin inhibits EPEC LA to HEp-2 cells and binds to HEp-2 cells. Recombinant bundlin also binds, with millimolar association constants (K(assoc)), to synthetic LacNAc-Benzene and LacNAc-O(CH(2))(8)CONH(2) glycosides as assessed in the gas phase by nanoelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Furthermore, LacNAc-BSA inhibits LA only of EPEC strains that express alpha bundlin alleles, suggesting putative locations for the LacNAc-binding pocket in the alpha bundlin monomer. Collectively, these results suggest that alpha bundlin possesses lectin-like properties that are responsible for LacNAc-specific initial adherence of alpha bundlin-expressing EPEC strains to host intestinal epithelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Sugars / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fimbriae Proteins / genetics
  • Fimbriae Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Fimbriae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lectins / genetics
  • Lectins / isolation & purification
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Amino Sugars
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Lectins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Fimbriae Proteins
  • N-acetyllactosamine