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Fast uncoiling kinetics of F1C pili expressed by uropathogenic Escherichia coli are revealed on a single pilus level using force-measuring optical tweezers
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
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2011 (English)In: European Biophysics Journal, ISSN 0175-7571, E-ISSN 1432-1017, Vol. 40, no 3, 305-316 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) expressvarious kinds of organelles, so-called pili or fimbriae, thatmediate adhesion to host tissue in the urinary tract throughspecific receptor-adhesin interactions. The biomechanicalproperties of these pili have been considered important forthe ability of bacteria to withstand shear forces from rinsingurine flows. Force-measuring optical tweezers have beenused to characterize individual organelles of F1C typeexpressed by UPEC bacteria with respect to such properties.Qualitatively, the force-versus-elongation response wasfound to be similar to that of other types of helix-like piliexpressed by UPEC, i.e., type 1, P, and S, with force-inducedelongation in three regions, one of which represents theimportant uncoiling mechanism of the helix-like quaternarystructure. Quantitatively, the steady-state uncoiling forcewas assessed as 26.4 ±1.4 pN, which is similar to those ofother pili (which range from 21 pN for SI to 30 pN for type 1).The corner velocity for dynamic response (1,400 nm/s) wasfound to be larger than those of the other pili (400–700 nm/sfor S and P pili, and 6 nm/s for type 1). The kinetics werefound to be faster, with a thermal opening rate of 17 Hz, afew times higher than S and P pili, and three orders ofmagnitude higher than type 1. These data suggest that F1Cpili are, like P and S pili, evolutionarily selected to primarilywithstand the conditions expressed in the upper urinary tract.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 40, no 3, 305-316 p.
Keyword [en]
optical tweezers, force spectroscopy, pili, bacteria, adhesion
National Category
Other Physics Topics Condensed Matter Physics Cell and Molecular Biology Microbiology in the medical area Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
Mathematics; Physics; Microbiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38646DOI: 10.1007/s00249-010-0648-1OAI: diva2:379798
Available from: 2010-12-20 Created: 2010-12-20 Last updated: 2015-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Castelain, MickaëlEhlers, SarahKlinth, JeannaLindberg, StinaAndersson, MagnusUhlin, Bernt EricAxner, Ove
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Department of PhysicsDepartment of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine)
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European Biophysics Journal
Other Physics TopicsCondensed Matter PhysicsCell and Molecular BiologyMicrobiology in the medical areaMicrobiology in the medical area

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