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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Aug;9(4):376-82. Epub 2006 May 19.

Type III effector proteins: doppelgangers of bacterial virulence.

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University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, M5S 3B2, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Bacterial pathogens have co-evolved with their hosts in their ongoing quest for advantage in the resulting interaction. These intimate associations have resulted in remarkable adaptations of prokaryotic virulence proteins and their eukaryotic molecular targets. An important strategy used by microbial pathogens of animals to manipulate host cellular functions is structural mimicry of eukaryotic proteins. Recent evidence demonstrates that plant pathogens also use structural mimicry of host factors as a virulence strategy. Nearly all virulence proteins from phytopathogenic bacteria have eluded functional annotation on the basis of primary amino-acid sequence. Recent efforts to determine their three-dimensional structures are, however, revealing important clues about the mechanisms of bacterial virulence in plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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