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5 September 2007 Uncoiling mechanism of Klebsiella pneumoniae type 3 pili measured by using optical tweezers
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Pili are bacterial appendages that play many important roles in bacterial behaviors, physiology and interaction with hosts. Via pili, bacteria are able to adhere to, migrate onto, and colonize on host cells, mechanically. Different from the most studied type 1 and P type pili, which are rigid and thick with an average of 6~7 nm in diameter, type 3 pili are relatively tiny (3-5 nm in diameter) and flexible, and their biophysical properties remains unclear. By using optical tweezers, we found that the elongation processes of type 3 pili are divided into three phases: (1) elastic elongation, (2) uncoiling elongation, and (3) intrinsic elongation, separately. Besides, the uncoiling force of the recombinant pili displayed on the surface of E. coli [pmrkABCDV1F] is measured 20 pN in average stronger than that of E. coli [pmrkABCDV1]. This suggests that pilin MrkF is involved in determining the mechanical properties of the type 3 pili.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Feng-Jung Chen, Chia-Han Chan, Kuo-Liang Liu, Ying-Jung Huang, Hwei-Ling Peng, Hwan-You Chang, Tri-Rung Yew, Ken Y. Hsu, and Long Hsu "Uncoiling mechanism of Klebsiella pneumoniae type 3 pili measured by using optical tweezers", Proc. SPIE 6644, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV, 66441W (5 September 2007);

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