Uncoiling mechanism of klebsiella pneumoniae type 3 pili measured by using optical tweezers

Feng Jung Chen*, Chia Han Chan, Kuo Liang Liu, Ying Jung Huang, Hwei-Ling Peng, Hwan You Chang, Tri Rung Yew, Ken-Yuh Hsu, Long Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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 [pmrkABCD v1]. This suggests that pilin MrkF is involved in determining the mechanical properties of the type 3 pili.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 26 Aug 200729 Aug 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Mechanical properties
  • Optical tweezers
  • Type 3 pili
  • Uncoiling force

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Uncoiling mechanism of klebsiella pneumoniae type 3 pili measured by using optical tweezers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this