Therapeutic approaches targeting the assembly and function of chaperone-usher pili

John J. Psonis, David G. Thanassi

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


The chaperone-usher (CU) pathway is dedicated to the biogenesis of surface structures termed pili or fimbriae that play indispensable roles in the pathogenesis of a wide range of bacteria (1-4). Pili are hair-like fibers composed of multiple different subunit proteins. They are typically involved in adhesion, allowing bacteria to establish a foothold within the host. Following attachment, pili modulate host cell signaling pathways, promote or inhibit host cell invasion, and mediate bacterium-bacterium interactions leading to formation of community structures such as biofilms (5, 6). Gram-negative bacteria express multiple CU pili that contribute to their ability to colonize diverse environmental niches (1, 7-10). Pili thus function at the host-pathogen interface to both initiate and sustain infection and represent attractive therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProtein Secretion in Bacteria
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781683670445
ISBN (Print)9781683670278
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogenesis
  • Chaperone-usher pili
  • Pilus assembly
  • Pilus function
  • Pilus-directed therapeutic approaches
  • Subunit proteins


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic approaches targeting the assembly and function of chaperone-usher pili'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this