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2UWJ: Structure of the Heterotrimeric Complex Which Regulates Type III Secretion Needle Formation
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2007) 104 p.7803-7808» All references (2)
Type III secretion systems (T3SS), found in several Gram-negative pathogens, are nanomachines involved in the transport of virulence effectors directly into the cytoplasm of target cells. T3SS are essentially composed of basal membrane-embedded ring-like structures and a hollow needle formed by a single polymerized protein. Within the bacterial cytoplasm, the T3SS needle protein requires two distinct chaperones for stabilization before its secretion, without which the entire T3SS is nonfunctional. The 2.0-A x-ray crystal structure of the PscE-PscF(55-85)-PscG heterotrimeric complex from Pseudomonas aeruginosa reveals that the C terminus of the needle protein PscF is engulfed within the hydrophobic groove of the tetratricopeptide-like molecule PscG, indicating that the macromolecular scaffold necessary to stabilize the T3SS needle is totally distinct from chaperoned complexes between pilus- or flagellum-forming molecules. Disruption of specific PscG-PscF interactions leads to impairment of bacterial cytotoxicity toward macrophages, indicating that this essential heterotrimer, which possesses homologs in a wide variety of pathogens, is a unique attractive target for the development of novel antibacterials.