Motility and adhesion through type IV pili in Gram-positive bacteria

Kurt H. Piepenbrink, Eric J. Sundberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Type IV pili are hair-like bacterial surface appendages that play a role in diverse processes such as cellular adhesion, colonization, twitching motility, biofilm formation, and horizontal gene transfer. These extracellular fibers are composed exclusively or primarily of many copies of one or more pilin proteins, tightly packed in a helix so that the highly hydrophobic amino-terminus of the pilin is buried in the pilus core. Type IV pili have been characterized extensively in Gram-negative bacteria, and recent advances in high-throughput genomic sequencing have revealed that they are also widespread in Gram-positive bacteria. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of type IV pilus systems in Gram-positive bacterial species and discuss them in the broader context of eubacterial type IV pili.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1659-1666
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Motility and adhesion through type IV pili in Gram-positive bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this