CRISPR Content Correlates with the Pathogenic Potential of Escherichia coli

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Información del item - Informació de l'item - Item information
Title: CRISPR Content Correlates with the Pathogenic Potential of Escherichia coli
Authors: García-Gutiérrez, Enriqueta | Almendros, Cristóbal | Mojica, Francisco J.M. | Guzmán, Noemí M. | García-Martínez, Jesús
Research Group/s: Microbiología Molecular
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología
Keywords: CRISPR | Pathogenicity | Genetic Interference | DNA repeats | Bacterial Pathogens | Escherichia coli
Knowledge Area: Microbiología
Issue Date: 2-Jul-2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Citation: García-Gutiérrez E, Almendros C, Mojica FJM, Guzmán NM, García-Martínez J (2015) CRISPR Content Correlates with the Pathogenic Potential of Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131935
Abstract: Guide RNA molecules (crRNA) produced from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays, altogether with effector proteins (Cas) encoded by cognate cas (CRISPR associated) genes, mount an interference mechanism (CRISPR-Cas) that limits acquisition of foreign DNA in Bacteria and Archaea. The specificity of this action is provided by the repeat intervening spacer carried in the crRNA, which upon hybridization with complementary sequences enables their degradation by a Cas endonuclease. Moreover, CRISPR arrays are dynamic landscapes that may gain new spacers from infecting elements or lose them for example during genome replication. Thus, the spacer content of a strain determines the diversity of sequences that can be targeted by the corresponding CRISPR-Cas system reflecting its functionality. Most Escherichia coli strains possess either type I-E or I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. To evaluate their impact on the pathogenicity of the species, we inferred the pathotype and pathogenic potential of 126 strains of this and other closely related species and analyzed their repeat content. Our results revealed a negative correlation between the number of I-E CRISPR units in this system and the presence of pathogenicity traits: the median number of repeats was 2.5-fold higher for commensal isolates (with 29.5 units, range 0–53) than for pathogenic ones (12.0, range 0–42). Moreover, the higher the number of virulence factors within a strain, the lower the repeat content. Additionally, pathogenic strains of distinct ecological niches (i.e., intestinal or extraintestinal) differ in repeat counts. Altogether, these findings support an evolutionary connection between CRISPR and pathogenicity in E. coli.
Sponsor: This work was supported by Grant BIO2011-24417 from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (​eco/idi), and Grant ACOMP/2014/135 from the Conselleria D'Educació, Cultura i Esport, Generalitat Valenciana (
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131935
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2015 García-Gutiérrez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - Microbiología Molecular - Artículos de Revistas

Files in This Item:
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Thumbnailjournal.pone.0131935_(1).pdf771,08 kBAdobe PDFOpen Preview

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons