Selected Publications

Spagnolo, J.F., E. Rossignol, E. Bullitt, K. Kirkegaard (in press). Enzymatic and non-enzymatic functions of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases within oligomeric arrays. RNA.

Adding “dead” polymerase increases the enzymatic activity of wild type polymerase, showing an additional, non-enzymatic role for the polymerase as a scaffolding protein.

Li YF, Poole S, Nishio K, Jang K, Rasulova F, McVeigh A, Savarino SJ, Xia D, Bullitt E. Structure of CFA/I fimbriae from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 30;106(26):10793-8. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Pili expressed on bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea have been analyzed using hybrid microbiology/biochemistry/electron microscopy/x-ray crystallography methods. Assembly of the helical filaments occurs via a trans-cis isomerization of a proline residue just after the N-terminal extension.

Mu XQ, Savarino SJ, Bullitt E. The three-dimensional structure of CFA/I adhesion pili: traveler’s diarrhea bacteria hang on by a spring. J Mol Biol. 2008 Feb 22;376(3):614-20. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Survival of bacteria in the gut is aided by the spring-like structure of the long, thin, helical filaments that attach the bacteria to the epithelium.

Mu XQ, Bullitt E. Structure and assembly of P-pili: a protruding hinge region used for assembly of a bacterial adhesion filament. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 27;103(26):9861-6. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections involving the kidneys express pili with the “traditional” donor-strand exchange mechanism, whereby the N-terminal beta strand fits into a groove of the preceding subunit. The pilin subunit exits the bacterium vertically through a pore in the outer membrane, and rotates to an approximately horizontal orientation in the mature helical filament.

Mu XQ, Egelman EH, Bullitt E. Structure and function of Hib pili from Haemophilus influenzae type b. J Bacteriol. 2002 Sep;184(17):4868-74.

Lyle JM, Bullitt E, Bienz K, Kirkegaard K. Visualization and functional analysis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase lattices. Science. 2002 Jun 21;296(5576):2218-22.

Assembly of polymerases into a two-dimensional lattice provides a replication “factory” in which the availability of RNA is enhanced by its proximity to this polymerase surface, thereby improving the efficiency of replication.

Bullitt E, Makowski L. Structural polymorphism of bacterial adhesion pili. Nature. 1995 Jan 12;373(6510):164-7.

Adhesion pili can unwind to greater than five times their original length, to facilitate survival of bacteria in their preferred microenvironment.

Kendall A, McDonald M, Bian W, Bowles T, Baumgarten SC, Shi J, Stewart PL, Bullitt E, Gore D, Irving TC, Havens WM, Ghabrial SA, Wall JS, Stubbs G. Structure of flexible filamentous plant viruses. J Virol. 2008 Oct;82(19):9546-54. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Verger D, Bullitt E, Hultgren SJ, Waksman G. Crystal structure of the P pilus rod subunit PapA. PLoS Pathog. 2007 May 18;3(5):e73.

Poole ST, McVeigh AL, Anantha RP, Lee LH, Akay YM, Pontzer EA, Scott DA, Bullitt E, Savarino SJ. Donor strand complementation governs intersubunit interaction of fimbriae of the alternate chaperone pathway. Mol Microbiol. 2007 Mar;63(5):1372-84.

Jiang ZG, Gantz D, Bullitt E, McKnight CJ. Defining lipid-interacting domains in the N-terminal region of apolipoprotein B. Biochemistry. 2006 Oct 3;45(39):11799-808.

Mu XQ, Jiang ZG, Bullitt E. Localization of a critical interface for helical rod formation of bacterial adhesion P-pili. J Mol Biol. 2005 Feb 11;346(1):13-20. Epub 2004 Dec 18.

Frenkiel-Krispin D, Sack R, Englander J, Shimoni E, Eisenstein M, Bullitt E, Horowitz-Scherer R, Hayes CS, Setlow P, Minsky A, Wolf SG. Structure of the DNA-SspC complex: implications for DNA packaging, protection, and repair in bacterial spores. J Bacteriol. 2004 Jun;186(11):3525-30.

Cheng W, Bullitt E, Bhattacharyya L, Brewer CF, Makowski L. Electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction studies of Lotus tetragonolobus A isolectin cross-linked with a divalent Lewisx oligosaccharide, an oncofetal antigen. J Biol Chem. 1998 Dec 25;273(52):35016-22.

Bullitt E, Rout MP, Kilmartin JV, Akey CW. The yeast spindle pole body is assembled around a central crystal of Spc42p. Cell. 1997 Jun 27;89(7):1077-86.

Bullitt E, Jones CH, Striker R, Soto G, Jacob-Dubuisson F, Pinkner J, Wick MJ, Makowski L, Hultgren SJ. Development of pilus organelle subassemblies in vitro depends on chaperone uncapping of a beta zipper. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Nov 12;93(23):12890-5.

St Geme JW, Pinkner JS 3rd, Krasan GP, Heuser J, Bullitt E, Smith AL, Hultgren SJ. Haemophilus influenzae pili are composite structures assembled via the HifB chaperone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 15;93(21):11913-8.

Bullitt ES, DeRosier DJ, Coluccio LM, Tilney LG. Three-dimensional reconstruction of an actin bundle. J Cell Biol. 1988 Aug;107(2):597-611.

Weisel JW, Stauffacher CV, Bullitt E, Cohen C. A model for fibrinogen: domains and sequence. Science. 1985 Dec 20;230(4732):1388-91.