The Versatile Bacterial Type IV Secretion Systems

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2003 Nov;1(2):137-49. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro753.

Abstract

Bacteria use type IV secretion systems for two fundamental objectives related to pathogenesis--genetic exchange and the delivery of effector molecules to eukaryotic target cells. Whereas gene acquisition is an important adaptive mechanism that enables pathogens to cope with a changing environment during invasion of the host, interactions between effector and host molecules can suppress defence mechanisms, facilitate intracellular growth and even induce the synthesis of nutrients that are beneficial to bacterial colonization. Rapid progress has been made towards defining the structures and functions of type IV secretion machines, identifying the effector molecules, and elucidating the mechanisms by which the translocated effectors subvert eukaryotic cellular processes during infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Virulence

Substances

  • Bacterial Proteins