Norepinephrine-induced expression of the k99 pilus adhesin of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli

Mark Lyte, Alan K. Erickson, Bernard P. Arulanandam, Cory D. Frank, Michelle A. Crawford, David H. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


This study examined whether the provision of norepinephrine, as would be encountered within the highly innervated gastrointestinal system, affected the growth rate of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and the expression of the K99 pilus adhesin virulence-related factor. The addition of norepinephrine to serum-containing medium resulted in a 3- to 7-fold increase in the growth rate of the K99+ ETEC strain B44 as compared to growth in vehicle supplemented medium or medium supplemented with normetanephrine, a norepinephrine metabolite that contains one more methyl group than norepinephrine. ELISA analysis revealed that K99 pilus adhesin expression was increased in norepinephrine supplemented culture as compared to normetanephrine and vehicle supplemented controls. This increase occurred from 9 to 15 hours of incubation which represented the exponential growth phase for the norepinephrine supplemented culture. These results indicate that addition of norepinephrine affects both ETEC growth and expression of a specific virulence factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-686
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 27 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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