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Curr Opin Microbiol. 1998 Apr;1(2):223-31.

The chaperone/usher pathway: a major terminal branch of the general secretory pathway.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology, Box 8230, 660 South Euclid Ave, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Gram-negative bacteria assemble a variety of adhesive organelles on their surface, including the thread-like structures known as pili. Recent studies on pilus assembly by the chaperone/usher pathway have revealed new insights into the mechanisms of pilus subunit export into the periplasm and targeting to the outer membrane. Signaling events controlling pilus biogenesis have begun to emerge and investigations of the usher have yielded insights into pilus translocation across the outer membrane.

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