The influence of surface charge on the attachment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to human cells

J Gen Microbiol. 1976 Oct;96(2):359-64. doi: 10.1099/00221287-96-2-359.


Isoelectric focusing showed that Neisseria gonorrhoeae has an overall negative surface charge. Chemical modification of protein amino or carboxyl groups changed the surface charge and thereby altered the ability of the organisms to attach to human amnion cells grown in tissue culture. Attachment of modified and unmodified N. gonorrhoeae was increased by the presence of pili only when the bacteria bore a negative surface charge. Thus an important factor in the pathogenesis of gonorrhoea may be the ability of pili to facilitate attachment of N. gonorrhoeae by overcoming the initial electrostatic repulsive barrier which exists between it and the host cell.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / physiology*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / ultrastructure
  • Organoids / physiology
  • Surface Properties