Next Article in Journal
Co-Expression Network and Pathway Analyses Reveal Important Modules of miRNAs Regulating Milk Yield and Component Traits
Next Article in Special Issue
Tongue Sole CD209: A Pattern-Recognition Receptor that Binds a Broad Range of Microbes and Promotes Phagocytosis
Previous Article in Journal
BRS1 Function in Facilitating Lateral Root Emergence in Arabidopsis
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1551;

Novel Molecular Insights about Lactobacillar Sortase-Dependent Piliation

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Microbe Interaction 2018)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3468 KB, uploaded 18 July 2017]   |  


One of the more conspicuous structural features that punctuate the outer cell surface of certain bacterial Gram-positive genera and species is the sortase-dependent pilus. As these adhesive and variable-length protrusions jut outward from the cell, they provide a physically expedient and useful means for the initial contact between a bacterium and its ecological milieu. The sortase-dependent pilus displays an elongated macromolecular architecture consisting of two to three types of monomeric protein subunits (pilins), each with their own specific function and location, and that are joined together covalently by the transpeptidyl activity of a pilus-specific C-type sortase enzyme. Sortase-dependent pili were first detected among the Gram-positive pathogens and subsequently categorized as an essential virulence factor for host colonization and tissue invasion by these harmful bacteria. However, the sortase-dependent pilus was rebranded as also a niche-adaptation factor after it was revealed that “friendly” Gram-positive commensals exhibit the same kind of pilus structures, which includes two contrasting gut-adapted species from the Lactobacillus genus, allochthonous Lactobacillus rhamnosus and autochthonous Lactobacillus ruminis. This review will highlight and discuss what has been learned from the latest research carried out and published on these lactobacillar pilus types. View Full-Text
Keywords: sortase-dependent pili; pilin; Gram-positive; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Lactobacillus ruminis; commensal; niche-adaptation factor; adhesion sortase-dependent pili; pilin; Gram-positive; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Lactobacillus ruminis; commensal; niche-adaptation factor; adhesion

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

von Ossowski, I. Novel Molecular Insights about Lactobacillar Sortase-Dependent Piliation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1551.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top