Identification of a gene, pilV, required for type 4 fimbrial biogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, whose product possesses a pre-pilin-like leader sequence

Mol Microbiol. 1995 May;16(3):485-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1995.tb02413.x.


Type 4 fimbriae are important colonization factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other pathogens that mediate attachment to epithelial cells of the host. They are also responsible for a form of translocation termed 'twitching motility' and are implicated in the susceptibility to fimbrial-specific bacteriophage. Analysis of a transposon mutant which lacks functional fimbriae has identified a new gene which is required for fimbrial biogenesis. This gene, termed pilV, is located on chromosomal SpeI fragment E, 2 kb downstream of the previously characterized pilSR genes involved in transcriptional activation of the fimbrial subunit gene. The pilV gene encodes a 20 kDa membrane-located protein with considerable amino-terminal homology to the type 4 consensus pre-pilin leader sequence, suggesting that it is processed by a leader peptidase. Site-directed mutagenesis has shown that PilV requires such cleavage to be functional. PilV also exhibits close similarity to a group of proteins involved in extracellular protein secretion from a number of Gram-negative bacteria, suggesting that the biogenesis of type 4 fimbriae may have a similar basis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Base Sequence
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Fimbriae Proteins
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Operon
  • Protein Precursors / chemistry*
  • Protein Sorting Signals / chemistry*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • PilV protein, Bacteria
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Fimbriae Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L36117
  • GENBANK/L48934
  • GENBANK/L76605