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Gene Review

pilB  -  type 4 fimbrial biogenesis protein PilB

Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

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High impact information on pilB

  • Two genes flanking pilT were also sequenced, and found to have homology to pilB and pilC from P. aeruginosa [1].
  • However, the fimN and fimO genes did not complement pilB or pilC mutants, respectively [2].
  • DNA sequences capable of initiating transcription when fused to a promoterless lacZ gene have been identified in the pilA-pilB and pilB-pilC intergenic regions [3].
  • Insertion of the omega fragment containing strong transcriptional terminators into pilB, pilC, and pilD failed to have a polar effect on expression of downstream genes, as determined by the ability of each cloned gene to complement, in trans, the corresponding insertionally inactivated chromosomal copy [3].
  • In comparison with the pil gene cluster in P. aeruginosa, a gene homologous to pilB is lacking in the P. putida gene cluster [4].

Biological context of pilB

  • One of the components of this machinery is the product of the xcpR gene, which is homologous to pilB, a gene encoding a protein essential for the biogenesis of type IV pili [5].
  • This region was physically mapped to a SpeI fragment around 20 min on the P. aeruginosa PAO chromosome, remote from the major fimbrial locus (around 75 min) where the structural subunit-encoding gene (fimA/pilA) and ancillary genes required for fimbrial assembly (pilB, C and D) are found [6].
  • Further sequencing revealed that pilC is clustered in an operon with genes homologous to pilB and pilD of P. aeruginosa, which are also involved in pilus formation [7].

Associations of pilB with chemical compounds

  • The codons of highly conserved glycine residues within the Walker sequences of xcpR and pilB were altered to encode a serine, and the effects of these substitutions were examined [5].


  1. The Myxococcus xanthus pilT locus is required for social gliding motility although pili are still produced. Wu, S.S., Wu, J., Kaiser, D. Mol. Microbiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. Complementation analysis of the Dichelobacter nodosus fimN, fimO, and fimP genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and transcriptional analysis of the fimNOP gene region. Johnston, J.L., Billington, S.J., Haring, V., Rood, J.I. Infect. Immun. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Genetic and functional characterization of the gene cluster specifying expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pili. Koga, T., Ishimoto, K., Lory, S. Infect. Immun. (1993) [Pubmed]
  4. Characterization of type IV pilus genes in plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas putida WCS358. de Groot, A., Heijnen, I., de Cock, H., Filloux, A., Tommassen, J. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  5. Mutations in the consensus ATP-binding sites of XcpR and PilB eliminate extracellular protein secretion and pilus biogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Turner, L.R., Lara, J.C., Nunn, D.N., Lory, S. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  6. Characterisation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa twitching motility gene and evidence for a specialised protein export system widespread in eubacteria. Whitchurch, C.B., Hobbs, M., Livingston, S.P., Krishnapillai, V., Mattick, J.S. Gene (1991) [Pubmed]
  7. Type IV pilus genes pilA and pilC of Pseudomonas stutzeri are required for natural genetic transformation, and pilA can be replaced by corresponding genes from nontransformable species. Graupner, S., Frey, V., Hashemi, R., Lorenz, M.G., Brandes, G., Wackernagel, W. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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