Expression of the gene cluster associated with the Escherichia coli pilus adhesin K99

J. H. Lee, R. E. Isaacson

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16 Scopus citations


The biogenesis of the pilus adhesin K99 is dependent on the expression of eight contiguous genes, fanA to fanH. Transposon mutants were prepared by using TnlacZ and TnphoA, and selected transposon mutants were used to measure expression of each K99 gene. Expression of the K99 genes is likely controlled at the transcription level, since in general, there were no differences between the results obtained with the two transposons. fanC was the most highly expressed, and fanD was expressed at very low levels. The expression of TnlacZ fusions in fanA and fanB fusions was high. Deletion of fanA, fanB, and part of fanC abolished the expression of fanD but had no effect on the distal genes fanE to fanH. To locate the DNA regions required for expression of fanE to fanH, deletion mutations were prepared and the effects on expression of fanE to fanH were determined. The deletion of a segment between fanD and fanE abolished fanE and fanF expression but did not affect fanG and fanH. The deletion of a portion of fanF (approximately 1 kb proximal to fanG) abolished the expression of fanG and fanH. These results indicate the presence of regulatory elements proximal to fanE and to fanG. Putative promoters were identified in these regions by DNA homology and by primer extension. A stem-loop structure that may act as a transcriptional attenuator of fanF was also found at the beginning of fanF. These data confirm our previous model of K99 transcriptional organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4143-4149
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1995


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