Predominantly identified in pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria, sortase-dependent pili are also found in commensal species, such as the probiotic-marketed strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG. Pili are typically associated with host colonization, immune signalling and biofilm formation. Comparative analysis of the N-terminal domains of pilin-specific sortases from various piliated Gram-positive bacteria identified a conserved motif, called GYPSY, within the signal sequence. We investigated the function and role of the GYPSY residues by directed mutagenesis in homologous (rod-shaped) and heterologous (coccoidshaped) expression systems for pilus formation. Substitutions of some of the GYPSY residues, and more specifically the proline residue, were found to have a direct impact on the degree of piliation of Lb. rhamnosus GG. The present findings uncover a new signalling element involved in the functionality of pilin-specific sortases controlling the pilus biogenesis of Lb. rhamnosus GG and related piliated Gram-positive species.