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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2014 Feb;17:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

Antibacterial effector/immunity systems: it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Author information

1
Department of Biomolecular Mechanisms, Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, Jahnstrasse 29, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
2
Department of Biomolecular Mechanisms, Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, Jahnstrasse 29, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: anton.meinhart@mpimf-heidelberg.mpg.de.

Abstract

Bacteria do not live anchoretic; rather they are constantly in touch with their eukaryotic hosts and with other bacteria sharing their habitat. Therefore, bacteria have evolved sophisticated proteinaceous weapons. To harm other bacteria, they produce antibacterial effector proteins, which they either release into the environment or export via direct intercellular contact. Contact-dependent killing is mediated by two specialized secretion systems, the type V and VI secretion system, whereas contact-independent processes hijack other transport mechanisms. Regardless of the transport system, cells co-express immunity proteins to protect themselves from suicide and fratricide. In general, effector protein activities and secretion mechanisms differ between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and evidence is emerging that different effector/immunity systems act synergistically and thus extend the bacterial armory.

PMID:
24581686
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2013.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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