Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Elevation of intracellular free calcium levels in HEp-2 cells infected with enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

By T J Baldwin, W Ward, A Aitken, S Knutton and P H Williams


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) are a class of diarrheagenic organisms that induce a characteristic attaching and effacing lesion in enterocytes and various cultured cell lines. Infection of cultured HEp-2 cells by EPEC isolates 2036-80 (serotype O119) and E2348-69 (serotype O127) resulted in significant elevation of intracellular free calcium levels, determined quantitatively with the fluorescent calcium indicator dye 2-([2-bis(carboxymethyl)amino-5-methylphenoxy]methyl)-6-methoxy-8- bis(carboxymethyl)aminoquinoline. This effect, which was not observed on infection with non-lesion-forming E. coli strains, was inhibited by dantrolene, a drug that prevents calcium mobilization from intracellular stores. Moreover, activated protein kinase C in infected cells was dissociated from cell membranes by a process that was inhibited by cyclosporin A, suggesting involvement of the calcium-dependent protease calpain. A qualitative method for observing intracellular calcium fluxes by fluorescence microscopy with the recently described fluorescein-based indicator fluo-3 was used to screen a collection of well-characterized E. coli isolates from patients with infantile enteritis. Increased localized calcium-dependent fluo-3 fluorescence was observed only in HEp-2 cells infected with known lesion-forming EPEC strains. We propose that enhancement of intracellular free calcium levels in enterocytes infected with EPEC would result in formation of the characteristic lesion by calcium-dependent activation of actin-depolymerizing proteins, with eventual loss of absorptive capacity

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1991
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
Sorry, our data provider has not provided any external links therefore we are unable to provide a link to the full text.

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.