Fibronectin, a large and essential multidomain glycoprotein, with multiple adhesive properties, functioning as a key link between cells and their extracellular matrices, is now recognized to be the target for a large number of bacterial proteins, which are generally considered to function as bacterial adhesins. In the last decade, an avalanche of bacterial fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs) has been identified, and the bioinformatics, structural biology, biological function and role in the virulence of a growing number of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative proteins have begun to emerge. The evidence suggests that fibronectin has a wider biological remit than was previously thought and that bacterial FnBPs have actions over and above that of simple adhesion. This article provides an update on our current understanding of FnBPs from both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and their proposed roles in bacterial colonization, bacterial virulence and bacteria-host interactions.
© 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.