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Gene Review

wzx  -  O antigen flippase Wzx

Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. EDL933

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Disease relevance of wzx


High impact information on wzx

  • PglK displayed relaxed substrate specificity with respect to the oligosaccharide structure of the LLO intermediate and complemented a wzx deficiency in E. coli O-antigen biosynthesis [3].
  • Wzx for O-antigen processing were shown in Salmonella enterica to have a serotypical specificity over their native oligosaccharide repeat units [4], and strains with altered repeat-unit structures gave significantly reduced amount of O antigen.
  • It is generally believed that transverse diffusion of glycolipid intermediates is mediated by integral membrane proteins called translocases or "flippases." The bacterial genes proposed to encode these translocases have been collectively designated wzx genes [5].
  • A collection of 33 Escherichia coli serogroup O15 strains was studied with regard to O:H serotypes and virulence markers and for detection of the O-antigen-specific genes wzx and wzy [6].
  • Multiplex PCR assays targeting the E. coli O45 and the E. coli O55 wzx and wzy genes were used to detect the organisms in fecal samples spiked at levels of 10(6) and 10(8) CFU/0.2 g feces [7].
  • Sequence of the Escherichia coli O121 O-antigen gene cluster and detection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli O121 by PCR amplification of the wzx and wzy genes [8].

Anatomical context of wzx

  • Another gene (wzx) is predicted to encode a protein with multiple transmembrane segments and may function in export of the CA repeat unit from the cytoplasm into the periplasm in a process analogous to O-unit export [9].

Associations of wzx with chemical compounds

  • Surprisingly, inactivation of wzx also led to a marked delay in production of the ATP-binding cassette-transporter-dependent, D-rhamnose homopolymer, A-band LPS [10].
  • All the expected genes for the synthesis of the O-antigen were identified on the basis of homology and genes for the biosynthesis of dTDP-l-Rhamnose, genes encoding sugar transferases, as well as genes encoding O unit flippase (wzx) and O-antigen polymerase (wzy) [11].
  • Serotype-specific detection of STEC O26 was achieved by selecting cefixime-tellurite-resistant, MUG-fluorescent, rhamnose-nonfermenting colonies, which carried stx1, eae beta, irp2, and wzx gene sequences [12].


  1. Relationship between O-antigen subtypes, bacterial surface structures and O-antigen gene clusters in Escherichia coli O123 strains carrying genes for Shiga toxins and intimin. Beutin, L., Wang, Q., Naumann, D., Han, W., Krause, G., Leomil, L., Wang, L., Feng, L. J. Med. Microbiol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  2. DNA sequence of the Escherichia coli O103 O antigen gene cluster and detection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli O103 by PCR amplification of the wzx and wzy genes. Fratamico, P.M., DebRoy, C., Strobaugh, T.P., Chen, C.Y. Can. J. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Two distinct but interchangeable mechanisms for flipping of lipid-linked oligosaccharides. Alaimo, C., Catrein, I., Morf, L., Marolda, C.L., Callewaert, N., Valvano, M.A., Feldman, M.F., Aebi, M. EMBO J. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. The Wzx translocases for Salmonella enterica O-antigen processing have unexpected serotype specificity. Hong, Y., Cunneen, M.M., Reeves, P.R. Mol. Microbiol. (2012) [Pubmed]
  5. Evidence that the wzxE gene of Escherichia coli K-12 encodes a protein involved in the transbilayer movement of a trisaccharide-lipid intermediate in the assembly of enterobacterial common antigen. Rick, P.D., Barr, K., Sankaran, K., Kajimura, J., Rush, J.S., Waechter, C.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Sequence analysis of the Escherichia coli O15 antigen gene cluster and development of a PCR assay for rapid detection of intestinal and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli O15 strains. Beutin, L., Tao, J., Feng, L., Krause, G., Zimmermann, S., Gleier, K., Xia, Q., Wang, L. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Development of PCR assays targeting genes in O-antigen gene clusters for detection and identification of Escherichia coli O45 and O55 serogroups. DebRoy, C., Fratamico, P.M., Roberts, E., Davis, M.A., Liu, Y. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Sequence of the Escherichia coli O121 O-antigen gene cluster and detection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli O121 by PCR amplification of the wzx and wzy genes. Fratamico, P.M., Briggs, C.E., Needle, D., Chen, C.Y., DebRoy, C. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Organization of the Escherichia coli K-12 gene cluster responsible for production of the extracellular polysaccharide colanic acid. Stevenson, G., Andrianopoulos, K., Hobbs, M., Reeves, P.R. J. Bacteriol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  10. Effect of wzx (rfbX) mutations on A-band and B-band lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa O5. Burrows, L.L., Lam, J.S. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. The O-antigen gene cluster of Shigella boydii O11 and functional identification of its wzy gene. Tao, J., Feng, L., Guo, H., Li, Y., Wang, L. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Phenotypic and genetic markers for serotype-specific detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 strains from North America. Murinda, S.E., Batson, S.D., Nguyen, L.T., Gillespie, B.E., Oliver, S.P. Foodborne Pathog. Dis. (2004) [Pubmed]
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