Binding and transport of transforming DNA by Bacillus subtilis: the role of type-IV pilin-like proteins--a review

Gene. 1997 Jun 11;192(1):191-8. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(96)00804-9.


The pathway for binding, processing and transport of transforming DNA into competent cells of Bacillus subtilis is described. The known proteins involved in mediating these processes are reviewed in turn, including several that resemble proteins required for type-IV pilus assembly and function, and those involved in protein secretion. Based on the phenotypes of null mutations in the cognate genes for these proteins, on similarities to other proteins and on membrane localization and topology data, proposals are made for the roles of the individual proteins in the transformation process. A dynamic model is suggested for the presentation of transforming DNA to the transport apparatus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Endopeptidases*
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multienzyme Complexes*
  • Transformation, Bacterial*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • comC protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Endopeptidases
  • prepilin peptidase protein, Bacteria