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Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2004 Jul;6(2):111-24.

Type V protein secretion: simplicity gone awry?

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Bacterial Pathogenesis and Genomics Unit, Division of Immunity and Infection, The University of Birmingham, The Medical School, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.


Since its discovery in the late 1980's, the family of secreted proteins termed the autotransporters has been expanding continuously to become the largest group of secreted proteins in Gram-negative bacteria. The type V secretion pathway, which includes the autotransporters (type Va) together with the two-partner secretion system (type Vb) and the Oca family (type Vc), can be defined by secreted proteins that are (i) translocated across the outer membrane via a transmembrane pore formed by a beta-barrel and (ii) contain all the information required for translocation through the cell envelope. In the light of new discoveries and controversies in this research field, the secretion process of autotransporters, or the type Va secretion system, will be discussed here and placed in the context of the more general field of bacterial protein translocation.

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