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Structural insights into the biogenesis and biofilm formation by the Escherichia coli common pilus.
Bacteria have evolved a variety of mechanisms for developing community-based biofilms. These bacterial aggregates are of clinical importance, as they are a major source of recurrent disease. Bacterial surface fibers (pili) permit adherence to biotic and abiotic substrates, often in a highly specific manner. The Escherichia coli common pilus (ECP) represents a remarkable family of extracellular fibers that are associated with both disease-causing and commensal strains. ECP plays a dual role in early-stage biofilm development and host cell recognition. Despite being the most common fimbrial structure, relatively little is known regarding its biogenesis, architecture, and function. Here we report atomic-resolution insight into the biogenesis and architecture of ECP. We also derive a structural model for entwined ECP fibers that not only illuminates interbacteria communication during biofilm formation but also provides a useful foundation for the design of novel nanofibers.
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Escherichia coli Proteins
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't