Adhesive pili of the chaperone-usher family

Vasilios Kalas, Ender Volkan, Scott J. Hultgren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The chaperone-usher (CU) pathway constitutes one of the most prevalent mechanisms for the assembly of adhesive pili on the surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Studies at the interface of genetics, biochemistry, and structural biology have detailed the functions of the chaperone and the usher, providing a step-by-step understanding of pilus biogenesis by this sophisticated molecular machine. Further work has elucidated the molecular basis of specificity in host recognition by CU pili. Snapshots in CU pilus assembly and CU pilus-mediated pathogenesis have unveiled necessary molecular details for the design and application of promising antibiotic compounds that may soon prevent and treat acute, chronic, and recurrent bacterial infections in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEscherichia coli
Subtitle of host publicationPathotypes and Principles of Pathogenesis: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780123970480
StatePublished - Aug 5 2013


  • Chaperone
  • Donor-strand complementation
  • Donor-strand exchange
  • Mannoside
  • Molecular machine
  • Pilicide
  • Pilus
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Usher


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