Recent Publications

PubMed & google Scholar link to Lori Burrows’ publications.

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Preprints

  • The type IVa pilus machinery is pre-installed during cell division

    Lori L. Burrows, P. Lynne Howell, Ryan N.C. Buensuceso, Stephanie Tammam, Tyson Carter, Hanjeong Harvey, Ryan P. Lamers

    Type IV pili (T4aP) are ubiquitous microbial appendages used for adherence, twitching motility, DNA uptake, and electron transfer. Many of these functions depend on dynamic assembly and disassembly of the pilus by a megadalton-sized, cell envelope-spanning protein complex located at the poles of rod-shaped bacteria.

    Link to the paper

    As of Dec 30, 2016 this paper (now entitled “The type IVa pilus machinery is recruited to sites of future cell division”) was accepted for publication in mBio.

  • The molecular mechanism of the type IVa pilus motors

    Matthew McCallum, Stephanie Tammam, Ahmad Khan, Lori L. Burrows, P. Lynne Howell

    The molecular mechanism of the type IVa pilus motors Matthew McCallum 1 ( m.c.k.mccallum@gmail.com ) , Stephanie Tammam 2 ( stephanie.tammam@sickkids.ca ) , Ahmad Khan 3 ( ahmad.deen.khan@gmail.com ) , Lori L. Burrows 4 ( burrowl

    Link to the paper

  1. Structure of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type IVa Pilus Secretin at 7.4 Å. - 2016
    Koo Jason ,Lamers Ryan P ,Rubinstein John L ,Burrows Lori L ,Howell P Lynne - Structure (London, England : 1993). PubMed: PMID:27705815
    Type IVa pili (T4aP) function as bacterial virulence factors. T4aP pass through the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria via homo-oligomeric secretins. We present a 7.4 Å cryoelectron microscopy structure of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PilQ secretin. Peripheral and internal features show that the secretin is composed ...
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  2. The Conserved Tetratricopeptide Repeat-Containing C-Terminal Domain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa FimV Is Required for Its Cyclic AMP-Dependent and -Independent Functions. - 2016
    Buensuceso Ryan N C ,Nguyen Ylan ,Zhang Kun ,Daniel-Ivad Martin et al. - Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:27297880
    FimV is a Pseudomonas aeruginosa inner membrane protein that regulates intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels-and thus type IV pilus (T4P)-mediated twitching motility and type II secretion (T2S)-by activating the adenylate cyclase CyaB. Its cytoplasmic domain contains three predicted tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) ...
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  3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa: targeting cell-wall metabolism for new antibacterial discovery and development. - 2016
    Lamers Ryan P ,Burrows Lori L - Future medicinal chemistry. PubMed: PMID:27228070
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections and is resistant to most antibiotics. With therapeutic options against P. aeruginosa dwindling, and the lack of new antibiotics in advanced developmental stages, strategies for preserving the effectiveness of current antibiotics are urgently required. β-Lactam antibiotics ...
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  4. Type IV pilins regulate their own expression via direct intramembrane interactions with the sensor kinase PilS. - 2016
    Kilmury Sara L N ,Burrows Lori L - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PubMed: PMID:27162347
    Type IV pili are important virulence factors for many pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa Transcription of the major pilin gene-pilA-is controlled by the PilS-PilR two-component system in response to unknown signals. The absence of a periplasmic sensing domain suggested that PilS may sense an intramembrane signal, ...
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  5. PilN Binding Modulates the Structure and Binding Partners of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type IVa Pilus Protein PilM. - 2016
    McCallum Matthew ,Tammam Stephanie ,Little Dustin J ,Robinson Howard et al. - The Journal of biological chemistry. PubMed: PMID:27022027
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that expresses type IVa pili. The pilus assembly system, which promotes surface-associated twitching motility and virulence, is composed of inner and outer membrane subcomplexes, connected by an alignment subcomplex composed of PilMNOP. PilM binds to the N terminus ...
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  6. Loss of membrane-bound lytic transglycosylases increases outer membrane permeability and β-lactam sensitivity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. - 2016
    Lamers Ryan P ,Nguyen Uyen T ,Nguyen Ylan ,Buensuceso Ryan N C ,Burrows Lori L - MicrobiologyOpen. PubMed: PMID:26374494
    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of nosocomial infections. Its relatively impermeable outer membrane (OM) limits antibiotic entry, and a chromosomally encoded AmpC β-lactamase inactivates β-lactam antibiotics. AmpC expression is linked to peptidoglycan (PG) recycling, and soluble (sLT) or membrane-bound (mLT) lytic ...
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  1. Structural and functional studies of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa minor pilin, PilE. - 2015
    Nguyen Ylan ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Sugiman-Marangos Seiji ,Bell Stephanie D ,Buensuceso Ryan N C ,Junop Murray S ,Burrows Lori L - The Journal of biological chemistry. PubMed: PMID:26359492
    Many bacterial pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, use type IVa pili (T4aP) for attachment and twitching motility. T4aP are composed primarily of major pilin subunits, which are repeatedly assembled and disassembled to mediate function. A group of pilin-like proteins, the minor pilins FimU and ...
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  2. Nanoscale Pulling of Type IV Pili Reveals Their Flexibility and Adhesion to Surfaces over Extended Lengths of the Pili. - 2015
    Lu Shun ,Giuliani Maximiliano ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Burrows Lori L ,Wickham Robert A ,Dutcher John R - Biophysical journal. PubMed: PMID:26083926
    Type IV pili (T4P) are very thin protein filaments that extend from and retract into bacterial cells, allowing them to interact with and colonize a broad array of chemically diverse surfaces. The physical aspects that allow T4P to mediate adherence to many different ...
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  3. Novel Role for PilNO in Type IV Pilus Retraction Revealed by Alignment Subcomplex Mutations. - 2015
    Leighton Tiffany L ,Dayalani Neha ,Sampaleanu Liliana M ,Howell P Lynne ,Burrows Lori L - Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:25917913
    Type IV pili (T4P) are dynamic protein filaments that mediate bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation, and twitching motility. The highly conserved PilMNOP proteins form an inner membrane alignment subcomplex required for function of the T4P system, though their exact roles are unclear. Three potential ...
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  4. Biogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pili and regulation of their function. - 2015
    Leighton Tiffany L ,Buensuceso Ryan N C ,Howell P Lynne ,Burrows Lori L - Environmental microbiology. PubMed: PMID:25808785
    Type IV pili (T4P) are bacterial virulence factors involved in a wide variety of functions including deoxyribonucleic acid uptake, surface attachment, biofilm formation and twitching motility. While T4P are common surface appendages, the systems that assemble them and the regulation of their function ...
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  5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa minor pilins prime type IVa pilus assembly and promote surface display of the PilY1 adhesin. - 2015
    Nguyen Ylan ,Sugiman-Marangos Seiji ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Bell Stephanie D ,Charlton Carmen L ,Junop Murray S ,Burrows Lori L - The Journal of biological chemistry. PubMed: PMID:25389296
    Type IV pili (T4P) contain hundreds of major subunits, but minor subunits are also required for assembly and function. Here we show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa minor pilins prime pilus assembly and traffic the pilus-associated adhesin and anti-retraction protein, PilY1, to the cell surface. PilV, ...
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Role of PBPD1 in stimulation of Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation by subminimal inhibitory β-lactam concentrations. – 2014
Nguyen Uyen T ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Hogan Andrew J ,Afonso Alexandria C F ,Wright Gerard D ,Burrows Lori L – Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. PubMed: PMID:25136010
Disinfectant-tolerant Listeria monocytogenes biofilms can colonize surfaces that come into contact with food, leading to contamination and, potentially, food-borne illnesses. To better understand the process of L. monocytogenes biofilm formation and dispersal, we screened 1,120 off-patent FDA-approved drugs and identified several that modulate Listeria biofilm development. …
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[iPMIDi getfull=”25136010,25043896″ abstract=”1″ custom_pdf=”1″ ]


  1. Changes to its peptidoglycan-remodeling enzyme repertoire modulate β-lactam resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. – 2013
    Cavallari Joseph F ,Lamers Ryan P ,Scheurwater Edie M ,Matos Andrea L ,Burrows Lori L – Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. PubMed: PMID:23612194
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections and is resistant to many antibiotics. Among its primary mechanisms of resistance is expression of a chromosomally encoded AmpC β-lactamase that inactivates β-lactams. The mechanisms leading to AmpC expression in P. aeruginosa remain incompletely understood but …
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  2. Functional mapping of PilF and PilQ in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pilus system. – 2013
    Koo Jason ,Tang Tim ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Tammam Stephanie ,Sampaleanu Liliana ,Burrows Lori L ,Howell P Lynne – Biochemistry. PubMed: PMID:23547883
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses type IV pili (T4P) to interact with the environment and as key virulence factors when acting as an opportunistic pathogen. Assembly of the outer membrane PilQ secretin channel through which the pili are extruded is essential for pilus biogenesis. The P. …
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  3. The efflux inhibitor phenylalanine-arginine beta-naphthylamide (PAβN) permeabilizes the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. – 2013
    Lamers Ryan P ,Cavallari Joseph F ,Burrows Lori L – PloS one. PubMed: PMID:23544160
    Active efflux of antimicrobial agents is a primary mechanism by which bacterial pathogens can become multidrug resistant. The combined use of efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) with pump substrates is under exploration to overcome efflux-mediated multidrug resistance. Phenylalanine-arginine β-naphthylamide (PAβN) is a well-studied EPI that …
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  4. PilMNOPQ from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pilus system form a transenvelope protein interaction network that interacts with PilA. – 2013
    Tammam Stephanie ,Sampaleanu Liliana M ,Koo Jason ,Manoharan Kumararaaj ,Daubaras Mark ,Burrows Lori L ,Howell P Lynne – Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:23457250
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pili (T4P) are virulence factors that promote infection of cystic fibrosis and immunosuppressed patients. As the absence of T4P impairs colonization, they are attractive targets for the development of novel therapeutics. Genes in the pilMNOPQ operon are important for …
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  5. The platform protein is essential for type IV pilus biogenesis. – 2013
    Takhar Herlinder K ,Kemp Kevin ,Kim Melissa ,Howell P Lynne ,Burrows Lori L – The Journal of biological chemistry. PubMed: PMID:23413032
    A systematic genetic analysis was performed to identify the inner membrane proteins essential for type IV pilus (T4P) expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. By inactivating the retraction aspect of pilus function, genes essential for T4P assembly were discriminated. In contrast to previous studies in …
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[iPMIDi getfull=”23612194,23547883,23544160,23457250,23413032″ abstract=”1″ custom_pdf=”1″ ]


  1. Type IV pilin proteins: versatile molecular modules. – 2012
    Giltner Carmen L ,Nguyen Ylan ,Burrows Lori L – Microbiology and molecular biology reviews : MMBR. PubMed: PMID:23204365
    Type IV pili (T4P) are multifunctional protein fibers produced on the surfaces of a wide variety of bacteria and archaea. The major subunit of T4P is the type IV pilin, and structurally related proteins are found as components of the type II secretion (…
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  2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa twitching motility: type IV pili in action. – 2012
    , , , , – Annual review of microbiology. PubMed: PMID:22746331
    Type IV pili (T4P) are one of the most common forms of bacterial and archaeal surface structures, involved in adherence, motility, competence for DNA uptake, and pathogenesis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has emerged as one of the key model systems for the investigation of T4P …
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  3. Decoding the roles of pilotins and accessory proteins in secretin escort services. – 2012
    Koo Jason ,Burrows Lori L ,Howell P Lynne – FEMS microbiology letters. PubMed: PMID:22098485
    Secretins are channels that allow translocation of macromolecules across the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria. Virulence, natural competence, and motility are among the functions mediated by these large oligomeric protein assemblies. Filamentous phage also uses secretins to exit their bacterial host without causing cell lysis. …
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[iPMIDi getfull=”23204365,22746331,22098485″ abstract=”1″ custom_pdf=”1″ ]


Characterization of the PilN, PilO and PilP type IVa pilus subcomplex. – 2011
Tammam S ,Sampaleanu L M ,Koo J ,Sundaram P et al. – Molecular microbiology. PubMed: PMID:22053789
Type IVa pili are bacterial nanomachines required for colonization of surfaces, but little is known about the organization of proteins in this system. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa pilMNOPQ operon encodes five key members of the transenvelope complex facilitating pilus function. While PilQ forms the outer membrane …
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Palmitoyl-DL-carnitine is a multitarget inhibitor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm development. – 2011
Wenderska Iwona B ,Chong Matthew ,McNulty James ,Wright Gerard D ,Burrows Lori L – Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. PubMed: PMID:22045628
Bacteria growing in biofilms are often in metabolic and physiological states that do not respond well to antibiotics, and thus, are major contributors to chronic diseases. Biofilm inhibitors, therefore, have the potential to be used alone or as adjuvants to conventional antibiotic therapies. Here, we …
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa D-arabinofuranose biosynthetic pathway and its role in type IV pilus assembly. – 2011
Harvey Hanjeong ,Kus Julianne V ,Tessier Luc ,Kelly John ,Burrows Lori L – The Journal of biological chemistry. PubMed: PMID:21676874
Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains PA7 and Pa5196 glycosylate their type IVa pilins with α1,5-linked D-arabinofuranose (d-Araf), a rare sugar configuration identical to that found in cell wall polymers of the Corynebacterineae. Despite this chemical identity, the pathway for biosynthesis of α1,5-D-Araf in Gram-negative bacteria is unknown. …
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Maintaining network security: how macromolecular structures cross the peptidoglycan layer. – 2011
Scheurwater Edie M ,Burrows Lori L – FEMS microbiology letters. PubMed: PMID:21276045
Peptidoglycan plays a vital role in bacterial physiology, maintaining cell shape and resisting cellular lysis from high internal turgor pressures. Its integrity is carefully maintained by controlled remodeling during growth and division by the coordinated activities of penicillin-binding proteins, lytic transglycosylases, and N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidases. However, …
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[iPMIDi getfull=”22053789,22045628,21676874,21276045″ abstract=”1″ custom_pdf=”1″ ]


  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa minor pilins are incorporated into type IV pili. – 2010
    Giltner Carmen L ,Habash Marc ,Burrows Lori L – Journal of molecular biology. PubMed: PMID:20338182
    Type IV pili are long filamentous appendages required for both adhesion and a unique form of motility known as twitching. Twitching motility involves the extension and retraction of the pilus and requires a number of gene products, including five conserved pilin-like proteins of unknown function (…
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  2. AlgK is a TPR-containing protein and the periplasmic component of a novel exopolysaccharide secretin. – 2010
    Keiski Carrie-Lynn ,Harwich Michael ,Jain Sumita ,Neculai Ana Mirela et al. – Structure (London, England : 1993). PubMed: PMID:20159471
    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes chronic biofilm infections in cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Here we show that AlgK, a protein essential for production of high molecular …
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  3. Structural characterization of novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pilins. – 2010
    Nguyen Ylan ,Jackson Sean G ,Aidoo Francisca ,Junop Murray ,Burrows Lori L – Journal of molecular biology. PubMed: PMID:19895819
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pili, composed of PilA subunits, are used for attachment and twitching motility on surfaces. P. aeruginosa strains express one of five phylogenetically distinct PilA proteins, four of which are associated with accessory proteins that are involved either in pilin posttranslational modification …
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  4. Periplasmic domains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PilN and PilO form a stable heterodimeric complex. – 2009
    Sampaleanu L M ,Bonanno J B ,Ayers M ,Koo J et al. – Journal of molecular biology. PubMed: PMID:19857646
    Type IV pili (T4P) are bacterial virulence factors responsible for attachment to surfaces and for twitching motility, a motion that involves a succession of pilus extension and retraction cycles. In the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the PilM/N/O/P proteins are essential for …
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  5. PilM/N/O/P proteins form an inner membrane complex that affects the stability of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pilus secretin. – 2009
    Ayers M ,Sampaleanu L M ,Tammam S ,Koo J ,Harvey H ,Howell P L ,Burrows L L – Journal of molecular biology. PubMed: PMID:19857645
    The highly conserved pilM/N/O/P/Q gene cluster is among the core set of genes required for cell surface expression of type IV pili and associated twitching motility. With the exception of the outer membrane secretin, a multimer of PilQ subunits, the specific …
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  6. Single-residue changes in the C-terminal disulfide-bonded loop of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pilin influence pilus assembly and twitching motility. – 2009
    Harvey Hanjeong ,Habash Marc ,Aidoo Francisca ,Burrows Lori L – Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:19717595
    PilA, the major pilin subunit of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV pili (T4P), is a principal structural component. PilA has a conserved C-terminal disulfide-bonded loop (DSL) that has been implicated as the pilus adhesinotope. Structural studies have suggested that DSL is involved in intersubunit interactions …
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  7. Hypertonic saline resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock does not impair the neutrophil response to intraabdominal infection. – 2008
    Papia Giuseppe ,Burrows Lori L ,Sinnadurai Selva ,Marshall John C ,Tawadros Patrick S ,Kapus Andras ,Rotstein Ori D – Surgery. PubMed: PMID:19081025
    Hypertonic saline (HTS) has been proposed as a resuscitation strategy following trauma based on its ability to prevent organ dysfunction by exerting immunosuppressive effects on inflammatory cells, including neutrophils. Because these cells are central to the innate response to bacteria, we hypothesized that hypertonic treatment …
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  8. Modification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pa5196 type IV Pilins at multiple sites with D-Araf by a novel GT-C family Arabinosyltransferase, TfpW. – 2008
    Kus Julianne V ,Kelly John ,Tessier Luc ,Harvey Hanjeong ,Cvitkovitch Dennis G ,Burrows Lori L – Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:18805982
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pa5196 produces type IV pilins modified with unusual alpha1,5-linked d-arabinofuranose (alpha1,5-D-Araf) glycans, identical to those in the lipoarabinomannan and arabinogalactan cell wall polymers from Mycobacterium spp. In this work, we identify a second strain of P. aeruginosa, PA7, capable of expressing …
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  9. Novel proteins that modulate type IV pilus retraction dynamics in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. – 2008
    Asikyan Miranda L ,Kus Julianne V ,Burrows Lori L – Journal of bacteriology. PubMed: PMID:18776014
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses type IV pili to colonize various materials and for surface-associated twitching motility. We previously identified five phylogenetically distinct alleles of pilA in P. aeruginosa, four of which occur in genetic cassettes with specific accessory genes (J. V. Kus, E. Tullis, D. G. …
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[iPMIDi-getfull=”20338182,20159471,19895819,19857646,19857645,19717595,19081025,18805982,18776014″ abstract=”1″ custom_pdf=”1″ ]

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