Bacterial surface structures such as capsules and adhesins are generally regarded as important virulence factors. Here we demonstrate that capsules block the function of the self-recognizing protein antigen 43 through physical shielding. The phenomenon is not restricted to Escherichia coli but can occur in other gram-negative bacteria. Likewise, we show that other short adhesins exemplified by the AIDA-I protein are blocked by the presence of a capsule. The results support the notion that capsule polysaccharides sterically prevent receptor-target recognition of short bacterial adhesins. This negative interference has important biological consequences, such as affecting the ability of bacteria to form biofilms.
|Journal||Journal of Bacteriology|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|