Pili and pilin antigenic variation play important roles in adhesion of Neisseria meningitidis (MC) to human epithelial and endothelial cells. We recently identified one pilin variant that confers high adhesiveness of MC to human epithelial cells in culture. However, other factor(s) also play a role in MC adhesiveness, since some nonadhesive variants of MC strain 8013 are piliated and produce the same pilin variant as adhesive derivatives. PilC1 and PilC2, high molecular weight outer membrane proteins in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, are proposed to play roles in pilus assembly. Strain 8013 also contains pilC1 and pilC2; their products function in a similar if not identical manner in pilus biogenesis. PilC1 has an additional function in that it also modulates adhesiveness of strain 8013.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Apr 26 1994
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