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Extremophiles. 2009 May;13(3):403-10. doi: 10.1007/s00792-009-0241-7. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Diversity of archaeal type IV pilin-like structures.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Karl-von-Frisch Strasse, 35043, Marburg, Germany.


Bacterial type IV pili perform important functions in such disparate biological processes as surface adhesion, cell-cell interactions, autoaggregation, conjugation, and twitching motility. Unlike bacteria, archaea use a type IV pilus related structure to drive swimming motility. While this unique flagellum is the best-studied example of an archaeal IV pilus-like structure, recent in silico, in vivo and structural analyses have revealed a highly diverse set of archaeal non-flagellar type IV pilus-like structures. Accumulating evidence suggests that these structures play important diverse roles in archaea.

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