Protein secretion systems in Mycobacteria

Cell Microbiol. 2007 Jun;9(6):1376-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.00943.x. Epub 2007 Apr 25.


Mycobacteria have a unique cell-envelope structure which protects the bacteria from the extracellular environment by limiting access to noxious molecules from the outside. This extremely hydrophobic and thick barrier also poses a unique problem for the export of bacterial products. Here we review the multiple protein secretion pathways in Mycobacteria, including the general secretion pathway and the Twin-Arginine Transporter, with an emphasis on the ESX-1 alternate secretion system. This newly identified protein secretion system is required for growth during infection and has provided insight into how M. tuberculosis manipulates the host immune response during infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mycobacterium / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins