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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013;23(1-2):142-51. doi: 10.1159/000346550. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

The role of membrane vesicles in secretion of Lysobacter sp. bacteriolytic enzymes.

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Laboratory of Microbial Cell Surface Biochemistry, GK Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russia.


Membrane vesicles produced by bacteria have been intensively studied in the recent years. Investigators have noted their roles in essential processes in the bacterial cell including secretion of proteins by the 'eukaryotic' vesicular mechanism. To date, formation of vesicles is not considered to be a spontaneous event. Many believe it to be a programmed process that can be guided by several mechanisms. Vesicles are derivatives of the cell envelope, which in turn is a supramolecular structure where the functioning and biogenesis of all components are interrelated. Proteins secreted beyond the cell in their translocation are also part of the cell envelope. This also suggests their role in vesicle biogenesis. This review presents the results of vesicle studies in the Gram-negative bacterium Lysobacter sp. This bacterium is of interest as it secretes a number of proteins to the environment, including bacteriolytic enzymes. Bacteriolytic enzymes, on the one hand, are important for studies from a medical point of view as they can form the basis of new generation antimicrobial means. On the other hand, they are a convenient subject for studies of vesicle functions in the vital activities of the bacterial cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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