Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jun 5;98(12):6911-6. Epub 2001 May 29.

The chaperone/usher pathways of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: identification of fimbrial gene clusters (cup) and their involvement in biofilm formation.

Author information

Laboratoire d'Ingéniérie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires, Unité Propre de Recherche 9027, Institut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 31 Chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important opportunistic human pathogen, persists in certain tissues in the form of specialized bacterial communities, referred to as biofilm. The biofilm is formed through series of interactions between cells and adherence to surfaces, resulting in an organized structure. By screening a library of Tn5 insertions in a nonpiliated P. aeruginosa strain, we identified genes involved in early stages of biofilm formation. One class of mutations identified in this study mapped in a cluster of genes specifying the components of a chaperone/usher pathway that is involved in assembly of fimbrial subunits in other microorganisms. These genes, not previously described in P. aeruginosa, were named cupA1-A5. Additional chaperone/usher systems (CupB and CupC) have been also identified in the genome of P. aeruginosa PAO1; however, they do not appear to play a role in adhesion under the conditions where the CupA system is expressed and functions in surface adherence. The identification of these putative adhesins on the cell surface of P. aeruginosa suggests that this organism possess a wide range of factors that function in biofilm formation. These structures appear to be differentially regulated and may function at distinct stages of biofilm formation, or in specific environments colonized by this organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center