Assembly and function of pili in bacteria

pili Bacterial pili have long been recognized as mediators of initial host-pathogen interactions important for the progression of Gram-negative bacterial diseases. An appreciation of the role of pili on virulence in Gram-positive bacteria and the unique properties of their biogenesis is a rapidly emerging area of research. This review focusses on recent advances in one of the longest-studied Gram-negative pilus systems, the chaperone/usher assembled pili, along with the newcomer to the field, the sortase-assembled pili of Gram-positive bacteria. In both systems, a wealth of new structural and molecular details has emerged recently. It explores similarities between chaperone/usher and sortase-assembled pilus biogenesis and highlight paradigms unique to each, with the goal of using knowledge of each system to raise new questions and inform future studies of the other.

A tale of two pili: assembly and function of pili in bacteria. Trends Microbiol. Apr 6 2010

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