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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Feb;12(1):4-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.11.003. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

ESX/type VII secretion systems and their role in host-pathogen interaction.

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Institut Pasteur, UP Pathogénomique Mycobactérienne Intégrée, 25 Rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris, France.


The ESX-1 system is responsible for the secretion of the prototypic ESX proteins, namely the 6 kDa early secreted antigenic target (ESAT-6) and the 10 kDa culture filtrate protein (CFP-10). These two proteins, which form a 1:1 heterodimeric complex, are among the most important proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis involved in host-pathogen interaction. They induce a strong T cell mediated immune response, are apparently involved in membrane and/or host-cell lysis and represent key virulence factors. There are four other paralogous ESX systems in M. tuberculosis, some of which are essential for in vitro growth. ESX systems also exist in many other actinobacteria and Gram-positive bacteria, and have recently been suggested to be named type VII secretion systems.

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