Protein delivery into eukaryotic cells by type III secretion machines

Nature. 2006 Nov 30;444(7119):567-73. doi: 10.1038/nature05272.


Bacteria that have sustained long-standing close associations with eukaryotic hosts have evolved specific adaptations to survive and replicate in this environment. Perhaps one of the most remarkable of those adaptations is the type III secretion system (T3SS)--a bacterial organelle that has specifically evolved to deliver bacterial proteins into eukaryotic cells. Although originally identified in a handful of pathogenic bacteria, T3SSs are encoded by a large number of bacterial species that are symbiotic or pathogenic for humans, other animals including insects or nematodes, and plants. The study of these systems is leading to unique insights into not only organelle assembly and protein secretion but also mechanisms of symbiosis and pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / physiology
  • Protein Sorting Signals / physiology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Sorting Signals