Biochemical Studies on Pili Isolated From Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Strain PAO

Can J Microbiol. 1979 Oct;25(10):1175-81. doi: 10.1139/m79-182.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains PAO and PAK bear polar pili which are flexible filaments having a diameter of 6 nm and an average length of 2500 nm. Both types of pili are retractile and promote infection by a number of bacteriophages. The present communication describes the partial biochemical characterization of PAO pili isolated from a multipiliated nonretractile mutant of PAO. The observed properties are compared to those of PAK pili which were characterized previously. PAO pili were found to contain a single polypeptide subunit of 18 700 daltons. This is similar to PAK pili which contain a single polypeptide of 18 100 daltons. The amino acid composition of PAO pilin was also similar to that of PAK pilin. Neither protein contained phosphate or carbohydrate residues and both were found to contain N-methylphenylalanine at the amino terminus. Sequencing of 20 amino acid residues at the amino terminal end of PAO pilin revealed the sequence to be identical with that of PAK pilin, while tryptic peptide analyses of PAO and PAK pilin indicated that the two proteins probably contain a number of homologous regions within the polypeptide. It was concluded that PAO and PAK pili were closely related structures.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis*
  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / ultrastructure
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mutation
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / ultrastructure*


  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Peptides
  • Phosphates