Show Me the Substrates: Modulation of Host Cell Function by Type IV Secretion Systems

Cell Microbiol. 2003 Jun;5(6):373-83. doi: 10.1046/j.1462-5822.2003.00285.x.


Evidence for the involvement of type IV protein secretion systems in bacterial virulence is accumulating. Many of the substrate proteins secreted by type IV systems either hijack or interfere with specific host cell pathways. These substrates can be injected directly into host cells via the type IV apparatus or are secreted by the type IV machinery in a state that allows them to gain access to cellular targets without the further assistance of the type IV system. Arguably, the protein substrates of most type IV secretion systems remain undiscovered. Here, we review the activities of known type IV substrates and discuss the putative roles of unidentified substrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens / metabolism
  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens / pathogenicity
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Bordetella pertussis / metabolism
  • Bordetella pertussis / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Helicobacter pylori / metabolism
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity
  • Legionella pneumophila / metabolism
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Transport
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins