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Curli are a unique group of functional amyloids, which are crucial for host cell adhesion, biofilm formation and colonization of inert surfaces. They are involved in harmful diseases in humans, since they share similar structural and biochemical characteristics with amyloid fibers. Curli subunits are secreted into the outer membrane through the CsgG secretion channel. The crystal structure of CsgG showed that it is a symmetric nonameric channel, composed of monomers each having four strands spanning the outer membrane. A 36-stranded beta barrel is formed from nine CsgG monomers. CsgG could perhaps reduce the biofilm formation by controlling Curli secretion and that is why it is studied as a putative antibiotics target.
Curli biogenesis and function
Annu Rev Microbiol. 2006;60:131-47. doi: 10.1146/annurev.micro.60.080805.142106.
Misfolded protein aggregates: mechanisms, structures and potential for disease transmission
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Jul;22(5):482-7. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 May 5.
Common core structure of amyloid fibrils by synchrotron X-ray diffraction
J Mol Biol. 1997 Oct 31;273(3):729-39. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1997.1348.
Structure of the nonameric bacterial amyloid secretion channel
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 16;111(50):E5439-44. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411942111. Epub 2014 Dec 1.