Surface protein EF3314 contributes to virulence properties of Enterococcus faecalis

Roberta Creti, Francesca Fabretti, Stefanie Koch, Johannes Huebner, Danielle A. Garsin, Lucilla Baldassarri, Lucio Montanaro, Carla Renata Arciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Identification of putative new virulence factors as additional targets for therapeutic approaches alternative to antibiotic treatment of multi-resistant enterococcal infections. Methods: The EF3314 gene, coding for a putative surface-exposed antigen, was identified by the analysis of the Enterococcus faecalis V583 genome for LPXTG-motif cell wall anchor surface protein genes. A non-polar EF3314 gene deletion mutant in the E. faecalis 12030 human clinical isolate was obtained. The wild type and the isogenic mutant strain were investigated for biofilm formation, adherence to Hela cells, survival in human macrophages and a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. The aminoterminal portion of the EF3314 protein was overexpressed in E. coli to obtain mouse polyclonal antibodies for use in Western blotting and immunolocalization experiments. Results: The EF3314 gene has an unusually high GC content (46.88% vs. an average of 37.5% in the E. faecalis chromosome) and encodes a protein of 1744 amino acids that presents a series of 14 imperfect repeats of 90 amino acids covering almost the entire length of the protein. Its global organization is similar to the alpha-like protein family of group b streptococci, enterococcal surface protein Esp and biofilm associated protein Bap from S. aureus. The EF3314 gene was always present and specific for E. faecalis strains of human, food and animal origin. Differences in size depended on variable numbers of repeats in the repetitive region. Conclusions: EF3314 is a newly described, surface exposed protein that contributes to the virulence properties of E. faecalis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-620
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Adhesion
  • Biofilm
  • C. elegans infection mode
  • E. faecalis
  • Surface protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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