HpaA from Xanthomonas is a regulator of type III secretion

Mol Microbiol. 2008 Jul;69(2):344-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06280.x.


The Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria employs a type III secretion (T3S) system to inject effector proteins into the host cell cytoplasm. Efficient secretion of several effector proteins depends on the cytoplasmic global T3S chaperone HpaB. In this study, we show that HpaB interacts with the virulence factor HpaA, which is secreted by the T3S system and translocated into the plant cell. HpaA promotes secretion of pilus, translocon and effector proteins and therefore appears to be an important control protein of the T3S system. Protein-protein interaction studies and the analysis of HpaA deletion derivatives revealed that the C-terminal protein region, which contains a HpaB binding site, is crucial for the contribution of HpaA to T3S. Secretion of pilus and translocon proteins is not affected when HpaA is expressed as an N-terminal deletion derivative that lacks the secretion and translocation signal. Our data suggest that binding of HpaA to HpaB within the bacterial cell favours secretion of extracellular components of the secretion apparatus. Secretion of HpaA presumably liberates HpaB and thus promotes effector protein secretion after assembly of the T3S apparatus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Blotting, Western
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Fimbriae Proteins / metabolism
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Lectins / genetics
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Lipoproteins / genetics
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Transport
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism
  • Xanthomonas campestris / genetics
  • Xanthomonas campestris / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • HpaA protein, bacteria
  • Lectins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Virulence Factors
  • Fimbriae Proteins