Summary: Four different types of pili produced by variants of P9 were isolated and characterized. The pili differed in subunit molecular weight with SDS-PAGE and in subunit isoelectric point on agarose gels. Isoelectric points of the major molecular species in Tritonagarose gels of octylglucoside solubilized pili were: δ, pI 6.5; α, pI 6.0; β, pI 5.3 and γ, pI 5.5. Amino acid analyses of pili showed close homology between different types but a reduction in the content of aspartate and serine was notable in the low molecular weight δ pili; also β and γ pili contained more alanine residues. Structural homology was also demonstrated in peptide maps of tryptic/chymotryptic digests of pili with several major peptides apparently common to all four pilus types.


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