The biomechanical properties of E. coli pili for urinary tract attachment reflect the host environment
2007 (English)In: Biophysical Journal, ISSN 0006-3495, Vol. 93, no 9, 3008-3014 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli express pili that mediate binding to host tissue cells. We demonstrate with in situ force measuring optical tweezers that the ability of P and type 1 pili to elongate by unfolding under exposure to stress is a shared property with some differences. The unfolding force of the quaternary structures under equilibrium conditions is similar, 28 ± 2 and 30 ± 2 pN for P pili and type 1 pili, respectively. However, type 1 pili are found to be more rigid than P pili through their stronger layer-to-layer bonds. It was found that type 1 pili enter a dynamic regime at elongation speeds of 6 nm/s, compared to 400 nm/s for P pili; i.e., it responds faster to an external force. This possibly helps type 1 to withstand the irregular urine flow in the urethra as compared to the more constant urine flow in the upper urinary tract. Also, it was found that type 1 pili refold during retraction at two different levels that possibly could be related to several possible configurations. Our findings highlight functions that are believed to be of importance for the bacterial ability to sustain a basic antimicrobial mechanism of the host and for bacterial colonization.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 93, no 9, 3008-3014 p.
Bacterial Adhesion/*physiology, Biomechanics, Escherichia coli/*physiology, Fimbriae; Bacterial/*chemistry/*physiology, Humans, Microscopy; Atomic Force, Optical Tweezers, Urinary Tract Infections/microbiology, Urinary Tract Physiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2750DOI: 10.1529/biophysj.107.110643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-2750DiVA: diva2:141009