Caister Academic Press

Nonpilus (Non-Fimbrial) Adhesins

Amanda J. Sheets and Joseph W. St. Geme III
from: Bacterial Pathogenesis: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms (Edited by: Camille Locht and Michel Simonet). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


Adherence to a biological surface allows bacteria to persist and spread within the host and represents an essential early step in the pathogenesis of most bacterial diseases. Bacteria produce a variety of pilus and non-pilus adhesive structures that mediate specific adherence to host tissues. Among non-pilus adhesive structures, most can be classified according to the mechanism of secretion or the mechanism of anchoring to the bacterial surface. The majority of non-pilus adhesins are proteins, but other structures such as lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid also have adhesive function. This chapter summarizes the classes of bacterial non-pilus adhesins and highlights the roles of prototype adhesins in the context of disease pathogenesis. Elucidation of conserved mechanisms of secretion and anchoring of adhesins may facilitate the development of novel therapeutic agents that combat infectious diseases by effectively disrupting adherence and initial interactions with the host read more ...
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