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Gene. 1997 Jun 11;192(1):109-15.

Molecular genetic analysis of type-4 pilus biogenesis and twitching motility using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model system--a review.

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Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


Genetic analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pilus biogenesis and twitching motility has revealed the requirement for several pil loci which have been localized to different regions of the chromosome. One pil locus, designated pilE, resides at approx. 71 min on the PAO genetic map, a region of the chromosome previously shown to harbor a number of genes required for pilus assembly (i.e., pilA, -B, -C, -D, -R and -S). The PilE protein shows significant sequence identity to the N-terminal domain of PilA as well as to the pilin precursors from a variety of type-4 pilus producers. Included within this homologous region is a short, positively charged leader sequence followed by a prepilin peptidase cleavage site and a largely hydrophobic region. Additionally, an unlinked set of pil genes, designated pilG, -H, -I, -J and -K, has been localized to the SpeI fragment H which corresponds to approx. 20 min on the PAO genetic map. This gene cluster encodes proteins that demonstrate remarkable similarity to the chemotaxis proteins of enterics and the gliding bacterium Myxococcus xanthus and are thought to be part of a signal transduction system that controls P. aeruginosa pilus biosynthesis and twitching motility.

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