Summary: Pili of mediate attachment of the bacteria to target cells and undergo both phase and antigenic variation. PilC is a 110 kDa minor pilus-associated protein involved in pilus biogenesis and attachment. The expression of PilC is turned on and off at high frequency and is controlled by frameshift mutations in a run of G residues positioned in the region encoding the signal peptide. Most strains of carry two copies of . The DNA sequence of of strain MS11 is presented and compared to the sequence of the 3′ end of . These two genes are highly homologous, but not identical. The putative transcriptional terminator of contains a pair of inverted uptake sequences for gonococcal DNA (5′-GCCGTCTGAA-3′). An 88 bp sequence located upstream of the gene has also been reported to precede several genes of . Shorter regions positioned both downstream and upstream of can also be found in silent loci as well as close to genes. The genes are part of a duplication of a larger DNA region extending more than 2 kb downstream of the coding region.


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