Caister Academic Press

Outer-membrane-embedded and -associated Proteins and their Role in Adhesion and Pathogenesis

Vincent van Dam, Virginie Roussel-Jazédé, Jesús Arenas, Martine P. Bos and Jan Tommassen
from: Bacterial Membranes: Structural and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Han Remaut and Rémi Fronzes). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


The cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria is composed of two membranes, which are separated by the periplasm containing a layer of peptidoglycan. The outer membrane is in contact with the environment. It contains a myriad of integral and associated proteins that are involved in adhesion to biotic and abiotic surfaces and, in the case of pathogens, in virulence. To reach the cell surface, these proteins have to cross the entire cell envelope, which is accomplished via various secretion pathways. Neisseria meningitidis, a commensal that lives in the nasopharynx but occasionally causes sepsis and/or meningitis, expresses a plethora of these virulence factors including type IV pili, proteins secreted via the type V secretion pathway, and cell surface-exposed lipoproteins. Here, we discuss the biogenesis and the function of such virulence factors with emphasis on those produced by N. meningitidis read more ...
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