StcE, a metalloprotease secreted by Escherichia coli O157: H7, specifically cleaves C1 esterase inhibitor

Wyndham W. Lathem, Thomas E. Grys, Sarah E. Witowski, Alfredo Torres, James B. Kaper, Phillip I. Tarr, Rodney A. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Escherichia coli O157:H7 causes diarrhoea, haemorrhagic colitis, and the haemolytic uraemic syndrome. We have identified a protein of previously unknown function encoded on the pO157 virulence plasmid of E. coli O157:H7, which is the first described protease that specifically cleaves C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH), a member of the serine protease inhibitor family. The protein, named StcE for secreted protease of C1 esterase inhibitor from EHEC (formerly Tagn), cleaves C1-INH to produce (unique) ≈ 60-65 kDa fragments. StcE does not digest other serine protease inhibitors, extracellular matrix proteins or universal protease targets. We also observed that StcE causes the aggregation of cultured human T cells but not macrophage-like cells or B cells. Substitution of aspartic acid for glutamic acid at StcE position 435 within the consensus metalloprotease active site ablates its abilities to digest C1-INH and to aggregate T cells. StcE is secreted by theetp type II secretion pathway encoded on pO157, and extracellular StcE levels are positively regulated by the LEE-encoded regulator, Ler. StcE antigen and activity were detected in the faeces of a child with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, demonstrating the expression of StcE during human disease. Cleavage of C1-INH by StcE could plausibly cause localized pro-inflammatory and coagulation responses resulting in tissue damage, intestinal oedema and thrombotic abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-288
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein
Escherichia coli O157
Metalloproteases
Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
Peptide Hydrolases
T-Lymphocytes
Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome
Extracellular Matrix Proteins
Secretory Pathway
Colitis
Aspartic Acid
Feces
Virulence
Glutamic Acid
Diarrhea
Edema
Catalytic Domain
Proteins
Plasmids
B-Lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

StcE, a metalloprotease secreted by Escherichia coli O157 : H7, specifically cleaves C1 esterase inhibitor. / Lathem, Wyndham W.; Grys, Thomas E.; Witowski, Sarah E.; Torres, Alfredo; Kaper, James B.; Tarr, Phillip I.; Welch, Rodney A.

In: Molecular Microbiology, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2002, p. 277-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lathem, Wyndham W. ; Grys, Thomas E. ; Witowski, Sarah E. ; Torres, Alfredo ; Kaper, James B. ; Tarr, Phillip I. ; Welch, Rodney A. / StcE, a metalloprotease secreted by Escherichia coli O157 : H7, specifically cleaves C1 esterase inhibitor. In: Molecular Microbiology. 2002 ; Vol. 45, No. 2. pp. 277-288.
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