This in vitro study investigates the interaction between aggregation substance (AS), a virulence factor of Enterococcus faecalis, and colonic mucosal fibronectin in normal colon and colon from patients with Crohnxxxs disease. Fibronectin was found to be overexpressed in Crohnxxxs disease compared to normal colon. Compared to E. faecalis OG1X:pAM944 (AS-negative), E. faecalis OG1X:pAM721 (expressing AS) showed a significantly enhanced adhesion to human colonic mucosa in normal colon and in colon from patients with Crohnxxxs disease. Double-staining of fibronectin and AS-positive enterococci showed that colocalization of bacteria and fibronectin was significantly more frequent in Crohnxxxs disease than in normal colon. Preincubation of bacteria with soluble fibronectin caused a significant reduction in the adherence to fibronectin. In conclusion, the interaction between AS and fibronectin plays is an important factor that mediates adhesion of Enterococcus faecalis to colonic mucosa. This might be one of the mechanisms responsible for bacterial translocation of Enterococcus faecalis.
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