Enteropathogenic E. coli infection is characterized by rapid onset of diarrhea but the underlying mechanisms are not well defined. EPEC targets the tight junctions which selectively regulate the permeability of charged and uncharged molecules. Cooperative actions of the EPEC effectors EspF and Map have been reported to mediate tight junction disruption. To analyze the individual contributions of EspF and Map, we generated in vitro models where EspF and Map, derived from the EPEC strain E2348/69, were constitutively expressed in epithelial cells. Here we report that tight junction disruption by EspF and Map is caused by the inhibition of the junctional recruitment of proteins during tight junction assembly. Constitutive expression of EspF and Map depleted the levels of tight junction proteins. EspF down-regulated the transcript levels of claudin-1, occludin and ZO-1, while Map down-regulated only claudin-1 transcripts. Both effectors also caused lysosomal degradation of existing tight junction proteins. We also identified a novel interaction of Map with non-muscle myosin II. Consistent with earlier studies, EspF was found to interact with ZO-1 while actin was the common interacting partner for both effectors. Our data provides evidence for the distinct roles of Map and EspF in tight junction disruption through non-synergistic functions.
Singh, A. P., Sharma, S., Pagarware, K., Siraji, R. A., Ansari, I., Mandal, A., … Aijaz, S. (2018). Enteropathogenic E. Coli effectors EspF and Map independently disrupt tight junctions through distinct mechanisms involving transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Scientific Reports, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22017-1