For many Gram-negative bacteria, like Brucella, the type IV secretion system (T4SS) has a critical role in bacterial virulence. In Brucella, the VirB T4SS permits the injection of bacterial effectors inside host cells, leading to subversion of signaling pathways and favoring bacterial growth and pathogenesis. The virB operon promoter is tightly regulated by a combination of transcriptional activators and repressors that are expressed according to the environmental conditions encountered by Brucella. Recent advances have shed light on the Brucella T4SS regulatory mechanisms and also its substrates. Characterization of the targets and functions of these translocated effectors is underway and will help understand the role of the T4SS in the establishment of a replication niche inside host cells.
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