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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2014 Aug;27:16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Recent advances in the structural and molecular biology of type IV secretion systems.

Author information

1
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London and Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK.
2
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
3
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London and Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK. Electronic address: g.waksman@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk.

Abstract

Bacteria use type IV secretion (T4S) systems to deliver DNA and protein substrates to a diverse range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic target cells. T4S systems have great impact on human health, as they are a major source of antibiotic resistance spread among bacteria and are central to infection processes of many pathogens. Therefore, deciphering the structure and underlying translocation mechanism of T4S systems is crucial to facilitate development of new drugs. The last five years have witnessed considerable progress in unraveling the structure of T4S system subassemblies, notably that of the T4S system core complex, a large 1 MegaDalton (MDa) structure embedded in the double membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and made of 3 of the 12 T4S system components. However, the recent determination of the structure of -3MDa assembly of 8 of these components has revolutionized our views of T4S system architecture and opened up new avenues of research, which are discussed in this review.

PMID:
24709394
PMCID:
PMC4182333
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2014.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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