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Cell Host Microbe. 2008 Jul 17;4(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2008.06.004.

The Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a versatile model system for the identification and characterization of bacterial virulence proteins.

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Department of Medicine (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics), Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Microbial pathogens utilize complex secretion systems to deliver proteins into host cells. These effector proteins target and usurp host cell processes to promote infection and cause disease. While secretion systems are conserved, each pathogen delivers its own unique set of effectors. The identification and characterization of these effector proteins has been difficult, often limited by the lack of detectable signal sequences and functional redundancy. Model systems including yeast, worms, flies, and fish are being used to circumvent these issues. This technical review details the versatility and utility of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a system to identify and characterize bacterial effectors.

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