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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Apr;9(2):207-17. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Type IV secretion systems and their effectors in bacterial pathogenesis.

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Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are membrane-associated transporter complexes used by various bacteria to deliver substrate molecules to a wide range of target cells. T4SSs are involved in horizontal DNA transfer to other bacteria and eukaryotic cells, in DNA uptake from or release into the extracellular milieu, in toxin secretion and in the injection of virulence factors into eukaryotic host target cells by several mammalian pathogens. Rapid progress has been made towards defining the structures and functions of T4SSs, identifying the translocated effector molecules and elucidating the mechanisms by which the effectors subvert eukaryotic cellular processes during infection. These findings have had an important impact on our understanding of how these pathogens manipulate host cell functions to trigger bacterial uptake, facilitate intracellular growth and suppress defence mechanisms, thus facilitating bacterial colonization and disease development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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