Fimbria Pl fimbriae See pilus

fimbrillin Major subunit protein of bacterial pili (fimbriae). Binds to fibronectin and statherin. Coded by Fim genes. In Porphyromonas (Bacteroides) gingivalis, fimbrillins are around 43 kDa; in E. coli, around 17 kDa. Important as virulence factors.

fimbrin Plastin Actin-binding protein (68 kDa) from the core of epithelial brush-border microvilli. Contains the EF-hand motif.

finasteride Drug that inhibits 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the prostate. Used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatic carcinoma.

fingerprinting The basic principle of the technique is to digest a large molecule with a sequence-specific hydro-lase to produce moderate-sized fragments that can then be run on an electrophoresis gel. Provided the hydrolase only cleaves at specific sites (e.g. between particular amino acids or bases), the fragments should be characteristic of that molecule. The technique can be used to distinguish strains of virus or to differentiate between similar but non-identical proteins (peptide mapping). Not to be confused with foot-printing.

Firmicutes Group of Gram-positive bacteria, term generally now applied only to those with low G + C levels in their DNA. They can be cocci or rod-shaped forms. Are further subdivided into the anaerobic Clostridia, the Bacilli (which are obligate or facultative aerobes) and the Molli-cutes, (mycoplasmas).

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