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Trends Microbiol. 2000 Aug;8(8):354-60.

Bacterial type IV secretion: conjugation systems adapted to deliver effector molecules to host cells.

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Dept of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas-Houston Medical School, 6431 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Several bacterial pathogens utilize conjugation machines to export effector molecules during infection. Such systems are members of the type IV or 'adapted conjugation' secretion family. The prototypical type IV system is the Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA transfer machine, which delivers oncogenic nucleoprotein particles to plant cells. Other pathogens, including Bordetella pertussis, Legionella pneumophila, Brucellaspp. and Helicobacter pylori, use type IV machines to export effector proteins to the extracellular milieu or the mammalian cell cytosol.

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