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Trends Microbiol. 2001 Aug;9(8):367-71.

Targeting exported substrates to the Yersinia TTSS: different functions for different signals?

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Dept of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, S-90187, Umeå, Sweden.


Many Gram-negative pathogens utilize a type III secretion system (TTSS) to inject toxins into the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. Previous studies have indicated that exported substrates are targeted to the Yersinia TTSS via the coding regions of their 5' mRNA sequences, as well as by their cognate chaperones. However, recent results from our laboratory have challenged the role of mRNA targeting signals, as we have shown that the amino termini of exported substrates are crucial for type III secretion. Here, we discuss the nature of these amino-terminal secretion signals and propose a model for the secretion of exported substrates by amino-terminal and chaperone-mediated signals. In addition, we discuss the roles of chaperones as regulators of virulence gene expression and present models suggesting that such regulation can occur independently of the delivery of their substrates to the secretion apparatus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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