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    Zinc is the second trace element of living organisms after iron. Given its crucial importance, mammalian hosts restrict the bioavailability of Zinc ions (Zn2+) to bacterial pathogens. As a countermeasure, pathogens utilize high affinity Zn2+ transporters, such as ZnuACB to compete with the host for zinc. It is essential for bacteria to maintain zinc homeostasis and thus maintain their physiology and pathogenesis. In an attempt to uncover the zinc transporter in F4+ enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) C83902, we analyzed two RNA-seq data sets of bacteria samples when different zinc treatments (restriction or abundance) were applied. Considering data revealing that the high affinity zinc uptake system ZnuACB acts as the main transporter in ETEC C83902 to resist zinc deficiency, we deleted znuACB genes to study the role of them in ETEC C83902. The deletion of znuACB genes results in growth perturbation and a sharp decrease in the ability of biofilm formation and adhesion of bacteria in vitro. Taking the data together, this study demonstrates that the ZnuACB system is required for ETEC C83902 to acquire zinc, which highly contributes to ETEC pathogenicity as well.


    Guomei Quan, Pengpeng Xia, Siqi Lian, Yunping Wu, Guoqiang Zhu. Zinc uptake system ZnuACB is essential for maintaining pathogenic phenotype of F4ac+ enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) under a zinc restricted environment. Veterinary research. 2020 Oct 07;51(1):127

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    PMID: 33028391

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