PMID: 40875Sep 1, 1979

Ultraviolet irradiation disrupts somatic pili structure and function

Infection and Immunity
F J Silverblatt


Three piliated bacterial species were exposed to ultraviolet light (7 X 10(3) microW/cm2), and the effect of increasing duration of irradiation on the integrity of the somatic pili was quantitated by negative-stain electron microscopy. Heavily piliated Proteus mirabilis became devoid of pili after 20 min of irradiation, but Escherichia coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae required 40 min for complete depiliation. Partially purified proteus pili underwent progressive loss of structural integrity with increasing doses of irradiation as determined by negative staining and nephelometry, suggesting that ultraviolet light exerted an effect directly on the pili themselves. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that new, small molecular weight fragments appeared after irradiation of purified E. coli pili, suggesting that cleavage of the peptide chain rather than disassociation of pilin monomers accounted for the loss of pili structure. Ultraviolet irradiation also inhibited the ability of piliated bacteria to bind to human buccal epithelial cells. These observations indicate that the ultrastructural integrity and function of pili can be disrupted by ultraviolet light.


Jan 24, 2009·American Journal of Epidemiology·Laura M KinlinDavid N Fisman

Related Concepts

Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Squamous Transitional Epithelial Cell Count
Buccal Surface
Proteus Syndrome
Cytokinesis of the Fertilized Ovum
Electron Microscopy, Diagnostic
Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation

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