Structural biology of the chaperone-usher pathway of pilus biogenesis

Gabriel Waksman, Scott J. Hultgren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


The chaperone-usher (CU) pathway of pilus biogenesis is the most widespread of the five pathways that assemble adhesive pili at the surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Recent progress in the study of the structural biology of the CU pathway has unravelled the molecular basis of chaperone function and elucidated the mechanisms of fibre assembly at the outer membrane, leading to a comprehensive description of each step in the biogenesis pathway. Other studies have provided the molecular basis of host recognition by CU pili. The knowledge that has been gathered about both the assembly of and host recognition by CU pili has been harnessed to design promising antibiotic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-774
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009

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