A dynamic and adaptive network of cytosolic interactions governs protein export by the T3SS injectisome

Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 27:8:15940. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15940.


Many bacteria use a type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject effector proteins into host cells. Selection and export of the effectors is controlled by a set of soluble proteins at the cytosolic interface of the membrane spanning type III secretion 'injectisome'. Combining fluorescence microscopy, biochemical interaction studies and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we show that in live Yersinia enterocolitica bacteria these soluble proteins form complexes both at the injectisome and in the cytosol. Binding to the injectisome stabilizes these cytosolic complexes, whereas the free cytosolic complexes, which include the type III secretion ATPase, constitute a highly dynamic and adaptive network. The extracellular calcium concentration, which triggers activation of the T3SS, directly influences the cytosolic complexes, possibly through the essential component SctK/YscK, revealing a potential mechanism involved in the regulation of type III secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytosol / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Protein Transport
  • Type III Secretion Systems / genetics
  • Type III Secretion Systems / metabolism*
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / genetics
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Type III Secretion Systems
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases