Type IV Pilus Biogenesis, Structure and Function: Lessons from Type IVa Pilin Systems
from: Pili and Flagella: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Ken Jarrell). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)
Type IV pili are unabashed celebrities of the world of prokaryotic appendages and their fame and attraction are well deserved. Not only are they expressed by a vast array of phlyogenetically distinct species, they are associated with a dazzling array of diverse processes and phenotypes that impact heavily on microbial biology. Here, I give an overview of where we are today with regard to understanding the biogenesis, dynamics, structure and function of the type IVa class of type IV pili. In particular, I highlight studies of organelle biology in two systems that have played prominent roles in the development of the field: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. New emerging systems and outstanding issues are also addressed read more ...