The chaperone/usher pathway: a major terminal branch of the general secretory pathway

Curr Opin Microbiol. 1998 Apr;1(2):223-31. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(98)80015-5.


Gram-negative bacteria assemble a variety of adhesive organelles on their surface, including the thread-like structures known as pili. Recent studies on pilus assembly by the chaperone/usher pathway have revealed new insights into the mechanisms of pilus subunit export into the periplasm and targeting to the outer membrane. Signaling events controlling pilus biogenesis have begun to emerge and investigations of the usher have yielded insights into pilus translocation across the outer membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Molecular Chaperones