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Gene Review

fliC  -  flagellin type B

Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

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Disease relevance of fliC


High impact information on fliC

  • Unexpectedly, the flhA mutant adhered significantly better to corneal epithelial cells than wild-type bacteria or the fliC mutant did [5].
  • Similar Western blot analyses of 50 more P. aeruginosa strains obtained from varied sources revealed that all strains contained either A-type or B-type FliD, suggesting the existence of only two types of FliD in P. aeruginosa and indicating that fliC and fliD were coinherited [6].
  • Single point mutations lead to a mean sequence diversity of 0.40%, 0.38% and 0.59% for oriC, ampC and a-type fliC, respectively, but of only 0.05% for b-type flagellin genes [1].
  • In the absence of fliC, there was no mortality, compared with 30% mortality attributed to the parental strain PAK or 15% mortality associated with infection due to a pilA mutant PAK/NP (P < 0.0001) [2].
  • Fla+ organisms but not fliC mutants were efficiently taken up by murine macrophages [2].

Biological context of fliC

  • Physical genome analysis of the virulence-associated fliC locus in 20 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains by mapping and sequencing revealed groups of heterologous a-type (1164 bp; 1185 bp) and highly conserved b-type (1467 bp) flagellin genes [7].
  • The combination of these SNPs plus the type of fliC present (a or b) allowed the assignment of a genetic fingerprint to each strain, thus providing a simple tool for the discrimination of P. aeruginosa strains [8].
  • Cloning and comparison of fliC genes and identification of glycosylation in the flagellin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa a-type strains [9].
  • Surprisingly, by using a reporter gene fusion with the fliC promoter (pfliC::xylE), it was found that fliC expression begins within hours of static growth and is reversible after returning the culture to shaking conditions [10].

Anatomical context of fliC

  • Nutrient-induced biofilm dispersion was associated with increased expression of flagella (fliC) and correspondingly decreased expression of pilus (pilA) genes in dispersed cells [11].
  • To determine which TLRs mediate recognition of P. aeruginosa, we measured cytokine responses of bone marrow cells from wild-type mice and mice lacking TLR2 (TLR2(-/-)), TLR4 (TLR4(-/-)), TLR2 and TLR4 (TLR2/4(-/-)), or MyD88 (MyD88(-/-)) to wild-type P. aeruginosa and to fliC P. aeruginosa, which lacks the TLR5 ligand flagellin [12].

Other interactions of fliC

  • The fbp gene (28 to 29 min), which encodes an outer membrane ferripyochelin-binding protein of low molecular weight, and the fliC gene (64 to 66 min), the flagellin structural gene, were determined to lie in the previously reported locations [13].
  • AlgT-dependent control of flagellum synthesis occurred through inhibition of fliC but not rpoN transcription [14].
  • The majority of isolates (59%) were PCR-positive for exoU rather than for exoS (38%), and carried a-type fliC genes (76%) rather than b-type (24%) [15].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of fliC

  • Sequence analysis of three representative gene loci, oriC, ampC and fliC, in 19 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains revealed a low sequence diversity that does not correlate with the extensive diversity of P. aeruginosa habitats [1].


  1. Structural and functional implications of sequence diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genes oriC, ampC and fliC. Spangenberg, C., Montie, T.C., Tümmler, B. Electrophoresis (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. Role of flagella in pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pulmonary infection. Feldman, M., Bryan, R., Rajan, S., Scheffler, L., Brunnert, S., Tang, H., Prince, A. Infect. Immun. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Human airway epithelial cells sense Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection via recognition of flagellin by Toll-like receptor 5. Zhang, Z., Louboutin, J.P., Weiner, D.J., Goldberg, J.B., Wilson, J.M. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Flagellin gene fliC of Xanthomonas campestris is upregulated by transcription factor Clp. Lee, M.C., Weng, S.F., Tseng, Y.H. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. FlhA, a component of the flagellum assembly apparatus of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, plays a role in internalization by corneal epithelial cells. Fleiszig, S.M., Arora, S.K., Van, R., Ramphal, R. Infect. Immun. (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Identification of two distinct types of flagellar cap proteins, FliD, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Arora, S.K., Dasgupta, N., Lory, S., Ramphal, R. Infect. Immun. (2000) [Pubmed]
  7. Genetic diversity of flagellins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Spangenberg, C., Heuer, T., Bürger, C., Tümmler, B. FEBS Lett. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations analyzed by single nucleotide polymorphism and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis genotyping. Morales, G., Wiehlmann, L., Gudowius, P., van Delden, C., Tümmler, B., Martínez, J.L., Rojo, F. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. Cloning and comparison of fliC genes and identification of glycosylation in the flagellin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa a-type strains. Brimer, C.D., Montie, T.C. J. Bacteriol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  10. Static growth of mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa selects for non-mucoid variants that have acquired flagellum-dependent motility. Wyckoff, T.J., Thomas, B., Hassett, D.J., Wozniak, D.J. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. Characterization of nutrient-induced dispersion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 biofilm. Sauer, K., Cullen, M.C., Rickard, A.H., Zeef, L.A., Davies, D.G., Gilbert, P. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Redundant Toll-like receptor signaling in the pulmonary host response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Skerrett, S.J., Wilson, C.B., Liggitt, H.D., Hajjar, A.M. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  13. Localization of the virulence-associated genes pilA, pilR, rpoN, fliA, fliC, ent, and fbp on the physical map of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 by pulsed-field electrophoresis. Farinha, M.A., Ronald, S.L., Kropinski, A.M., Paranchych, W. Infect. Immun. (1993) [Pubmed]
  14. Negative control of flagellum synthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is modulated by the alternative sigma factor AlgT (AlgU). Garrett, E.S., Perlegas, D., Wozniak, D.J. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  15. Genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates associated with ulcerative keratitis. Winstanley, C., Kaye, S.B., Neal, T.J., Chilton, H.J., Miksch, S., Hart, C.A. J. Med. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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