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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2005 Jan;29(1):65-81.

The Icm/Dot type-IV secretion systems of Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel.


Type-IV secretion systems are devices present in a wide range of bacteria (including bacterial pathogens) that deliver macromolecules (proteins and single-strand-DNA) across kingdom barriers (as well as between bacteria and into the surroundings). The type-IV secretion systems were divided into two subgroups and Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii are the only two bacteria known today to utilize a type-IVB secretion system for pathogenesis. In this review we summarized the available information concerning the icm/dot type-IVB secretion systems by comparing the two bacteria that possess this system, the proteins components of their systems as well as the homology of proteins from type-IVB secretion systems to proteins from type-IVA secretion systems. In addition, the phenotypes associated with mutants in the L. pneumophila icm/dot genes, their relations to properties of specific Icm/Dot proteins as well as the protein substrates delivered by this system are described.

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