The bacterial Type IV pilus apparatus is a remarkable molecular machine that rapidly assembles and disassembles protein polymers to perform diverse functions related to microbial pathogenesis.
Work in the Craig lab focuses on Type IV pili, hairlike filaments on the surfaces of many bacterial pathogens, such as Vibrio cholerae, pathogenic Escherichia coli and Neisseria spp. Type IV pili are dynamic filaments that rapidly polymerize and depolymerize their pilin subunits in order to perform diverse functions critical to bacterial virulence, including twitching motility, host cell adhesion, microcolony formation, DNA uptake and protein secretion. We are working to understand the process of pilus assembly and disassembly by investigating the molecular architecture of the pilus filaments and their assembly machinery, with the goal of targeting and even exploiting these systems for antimicrobial therapies.
- Wang, F, Coureuil, M, Osinski, T, Orlova, A, Altindal, T, Gesbert, G, Nassif, X, Egelman, EH and Craig, L (2017). Cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria gonorrhoeae Type IV pili at sub-nanometer resolution. Structure, 25, 1423-1435, PMID 28877506. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969212617302502?via%3Dihub
- Ng, D, Harn, T, Altindal, T, Kolappan, S, Marles, JM, Lala, R, Spielman, I, Gao, Y, Hauke, CA Kovacikova, G., Verjee, Z, Taylor, RK, Biais, N and Craig, L (2016). The Vibrio cholerae minor pilin TcpB initiates assembly and retraction of the toxin-coregulated pilus. PLoS Pathogens, e1006109, PMID 27992883. http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1006109
- Kolappan, S, Coureuil, M Yu, X, Nassif, X, Egelman, EH and Craig, L (2016). Structure of the Neisseria meningitidis Type IV pilus. Nat Commun. 7:13015, PMID 27698424. http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13015