Pili and flagella biology, structure, and biotechnological applications.

TitlePili and flagella biology, structure, and biotechnological applications.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsVan Gerven, N., G. Waksman, and H. Remaut
JournalProg Mol Biol Transl Sci
Date Published2011
Type of Articlesmm
KeywordsArchaea, Bacterial Proteins, Biotechnology, Fimbriae, Bacterial, Flagella, Organelles

Bacteria and Archaea expose on their outer surfaces a variety of thread-like proteinaceous organelles with which they interact with their environments. These structures are repetitive assemblies of covalently or non-covalently linked protein subunits, organized into filamentous polymers known as pili ("hair"), flagella ("whips") or injectisomes ("needles"). They serve different roles in cell motility, adhesion and host invasion, protein and DNA secretion and uptake, conductance, or cellular encapsulation. Here we describe the functional, morphological and genetic diversity of these bacterial filamentous protein structures. The organized, multi-copy build-up and/or the natural function of pili and flagella have lead to their biotechnological application as display and secretion tools, as therapeutic targets or as molecular motors. We review the documented and potential technological exploitation of bacterial surface filaments in light of their structural and functional traits.

Alternate JournalProg Mol Biol Transl Sci
PubMed ID21999994