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Bacteriophage. 2012 Jul 1;2(3):139-148.

Mobile effector proteins on phage genomes.

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Department of Biological Sciences; University of Delaware; Newark, DE USA.


Bacteriophage genomes found in a range of bacterial pathogens encode a diverse array of virulence factors ranging from superantigens or pore forming lysins to numerous exotoxins. Recent studies have uncovered an entirely new class of bacterial virulence factors, called effector proteins or effector toxins, which are encoded within phage genomes that reside among several pathovars of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. These effector proteins have multiple domains resulting in proteins that can be multifunctional. The effector proteins encoded within phage genomes are translocated directly from the bacterial cytosol into their eukaryotic target cells by specialized bacterial type three secretion systems (T3SSs). In this review, we will give an overview of the different types of effector proteins encoded within phage genomes and examine their roles in bacterial pathogenesis.

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