Heterogeneity in expression of lipopolysaccharide and major outer- membrane proteins by strains of Escherichia coli O157 with different H- serotypes

Shuji Fujimoto, Yuko Meno, Kazumi Horikawa

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A total of 11 strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) belonging to serogroup O157 were examined for the expression of long-chain lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and major outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) by means of SDS-PAGE. The strains belonged to either one of four different flagellar (H) types or did not express flagella. Four of the eleven strains carried genes encoding Shiga-like toxins (SLTs). All the strains exhibited one of four LPS profiles, designated A, B, C or D. Electron microscopic analysis with the freeze-substitution technique demonstrated the differences in the cell surface structures of strains with each LPS profile. Strains with LPS profile A, B or C had layers of thin fibers 10, 20 and 20 nm long, respectively, on the outer membrane but strains with LPS profile D had no such structure. An analysis of the OMPs showed that all the strains had one of four OMP profiles, designated I, II, III or IV. Both LPS and OMP profiles were dependent on H-serotypes, and the combination pattern of LPS and OMP profiles of the strains was unique for each H-serotype. These data support the existence of heterogeneous groups of O157 strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-531
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology

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