A prototype two-partner secretion pathway: the Haemophilus influenzae HMW1 and HMW2 adhesin systems

Trends Microbiol. 2009 Aug;17(8):355-60. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2009.06.002. Epub 2009 Aug 5.


Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae is a common cause of human disease and initiates infection by colonizing the upper respiratory tract. Adherence to respiratory epithelium is an important step in the process of colonization and is influenced by adhesive proteins called adhesins. In approximately 80% of nontypable H. influenzae isolates, the major adhesins are related proteins called HMW1 and HMW2. Here, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of HMW1 and HMW2 as prototype members of the bacterial two-partner secretion pathway and examples of the expanding number of bacterial glycoproteins, highlighting experimental approaches that might be useful in studies of other secreted proteins and glycoproteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Adhesion*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • HMW1 protein, bacteria
  • HMW2 protein, bacteria
  • Virulence Factors