Small bacterial and phagic proteins: an updated view on a rapidly moving field

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2017 Oct;39:81-88. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2017.09.010. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


Small proteins, that is, polypeptides of 50 amino acids (aa) or less, are increasingly recognized as important regulators in bacteria. Secreted or not, their small size make them versatile proteins, involved in a wide range of processes. They may allow bacteria to sense and to respond to stresses, to send signals and communicate, and to modulate infections. Bacteriophages also produce small proteins to influence lysogeny/lysis decisions. In this review, we update the present view on small proteins functions, and discuss their possible applications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis*
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Bacteriophages*
  • Escherichia coli*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Viral Proteins*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Viral Proteins