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EcoSal Plus

Domain 2: Cell Architecture and Growth

Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
  • Authors: David G. Thanassi1, Sean-Paul Nuccio2, Stephane Shu Kin So, and Andreas J. Bäumler
  • Editors: Michael S. Donnenberg3, Andreas J. Bäumler4
    Affiliations: 1: Center for Infectious Diseases, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5120; 2: Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California at Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8645; 3: University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; 4: University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
  • Received 26 March 2007 Accepted 28 May 2007 Published 23 August 2007
  • Address correspondence to Andreas J. Bäumler [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    Proteinaceous, nonflagellar surface appendages constitute a variety of structures, including those known variably as fimbriae or pili. Constructed by distinct assembly pathways resulting in diverse morphologies, fimbriae have been described to mediate functions including adhesion, motility, and DNA transfer. As these structures can represent major diversifying elements among and isolates, multiple fimbrial classification schemes have been proposed and a number of mechanistic insights into fimbrial assembly and function have been made. Herein we describe the classifications and biochemistry of fimbriae assembled by the chaperone/usher, curli, and type IV pathways.

  • Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.


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Proteinaceous, nonflagellar surface appendages constitute a variety of structures, including those known variably as fimbriae or pili. Constructed by distinct assembly pathways resulting in diverse morphologies, fimbriae have been described to mediate functions including adhesion, motility, and DNA transfer. As these structures can represent major diversifying elements among and isolates, multiple fimbrial classification schemes have been proposed and a number of mechanistic insights into fimbrial assembly and function have been made. Herein we describe the classifications and biochemistry of fimbriae assembled by the chaperone/usher, curli, and type IV pathways.

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Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Type 1 fimbriae of serotype Typhimurium are encoded by a gene cluster (B) that is orthologous to genes encoding type 2 fimbriae of serotype Gallinarum (A) and a cryptic fimbrial operon () in (C). Type 1 fimbriae of are encoded by an operon (D) that is paralogous to the serotype Typhimurium operon.

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Members can be subdivided into two families: the classical chaperone-usher family and the alternate chaperone-usher family. The classical chaperone-usher family can be further subdivided into subfamilies 1 through 6. Usher amino acid sequences were aligned with MacVector 7.2 ClustalW to generate an unrooted phenogram. Pairwise distancing, neighbor joining, and plotting were performed with the PROTDIST, NEIGHBOR, and DRAWTREE programs, respectively, of the PHYLIP 3.65 software package with default settings. STy, serotype Typhi; STm, serotype Typhimurium; K12, K-12; EAEC, enteroaggregative ; EHEC, enterohemorrhagic ; REPEC, rabbit enteropathogenic .

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

The operon encoding curli production in serotype Typhimurium is shown at the top ( 112 ). Numbers below indicate the percentages of amino acid sequence identity of proteins encoded by individual serotype Typhimurium genes to their counterparts in serotype Enteritidis, serotype Typhi, , K-12, and O157:H7.

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Figure 4

Superscript letters indicate the following: a, pseudogenes are present in serotype Typhi (CT18 and/or TY2); b, pseudogenes are present in serotype Paratyphi A; c, pseudogenes are present in serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi A; d, pseudogenes are present in serotypes Typhi and Typhimurium.

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Figure 5

(A) Negatively stained electron micrograph of expressing P fimbriae. (B) Freeze-etch electron micrograph of a P pilus fiber showing the distal-tip fibrillum and the helical rod. To the right of the micrograph is a cartoon representation of the fiber and a topology diagram depicting the interaction of pilin subunits by donor strand exchange. Each subunit consists of an Ig-like fold and an N-terminal extension. The N-terminal extension completes the Ig fold of the preceding subunit. (C) Negatively stained electron micrograph of expressing CS1. (D) Negatively stained electron micrograph of expressing curli fimbriae. (E) Negatively stained electron micrograph of EPEC expressing BFP, indicated by the arrows, together with atomic-resolution models for the BFP fiber in ribbon and surface representations. In the ribbon representation, the bundlin subunits in each strand of the three-start helix are depicted in yellow, red, and blue. Each subunit consists of an extended N-terminal α-helix and a globular C-terminal head domain. In the surface representation, the hydrophobic N terminus that packs into the center of the fiber is depicted in gray, and the α-ß loop, the D-region, and the core of the C-terminal head domain are depicted in green, yellow, and blue, respectively. Panels A, B, C, D, and E were modified or reprinted from references 101 a, 194 and 320 a, 244 , 214 a, and 284 , respectively, with permission of the publishers.

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Table 1

Classification of fimbriae by hemagglutination

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Table 2

Serological classification of fimbriae

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
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Table 3

Type IV fimbriae present in and

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.
Generic image for table
Table 4

Fimbrial antigens commonly expressed in vitro by clinical isolates of ETEC and UPEC

Citation: Thanassi D, Nuccio S, Shu Kin So S, Bäumler A. 2007. Fimbriae: Classification and Biochemistry, EcoSal Plus 2007; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.

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