The type III secretion injectisome

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Nov;4(11):811-25. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1526.


The type III secretion injectisome is a complex nanomachine that allows bacteria to deliver protein effectors across eukaryotic cellular membranes. In recent years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of its structure, assembly and mode of operation. The principal structural components of the injectisome, from the base located in the bacterial cytosol to the tip of the needle protruding from the cell surface, have been investigated in detail. The structures of several constituent proteins were solved at the atomic level and important insights into the assembly process have been gained. However, despite the ongoing concerted efforts of molecular and structural biologists, the role of many of the constituent components of this nanomachine remain unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / cytology*
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Protein Transport


  • Bacterial Proteins