Trade-off between iron uptake and protection against oxidative stress: deletion of cueO promotes uropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence in a mouse model of urinary tract infection

J Bacteriol. 2008 Oct;190(20):6909-12. doi: 10.1128/JB.00451-08. Epub 2008 Aug 22.


The periplasmic multicopper oxidase (CueO) is involved in copper homeostasis and protection against oxidative stress. Here, we show that the deletion of cueO in uropathogenic Escherichia coli increases its colonization of the urinary tract despite its increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide. The cueO deletion mutant accumulated iron with increased efficiency compared to its parent strain; this may account for its advantage in the iron-limited environment of the urinary tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbial Viability
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Urine / microbiology
  • Virulence


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron
  • Oxidoreductases
  • cueO protein, E coli