Type II secretion: from structure to function

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Feb;255(2):175-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00102.x.


Gram-negative bacteria use the type II secretion system to transport a large number of secreted proteins from the periplasmic space into the extracellular environment. Many of the secreted proteins are major virulence factors in plants and animals. The components of the type II secretion system are located in both the inner and outer membranes where they assemble into a multi-protein, cell-envelope spanning, complex. This review discusses recent progress, particularly newly published structures obtained by X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy that have increased our understanding of how the type II secretion apparatus functions and the role that individual proteins play in this complex system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins