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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2014 Jul;38(4):523-68. doi: 10.1111/1574-6976.12079. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Ribosomally encoded antibacterial proteins and peptides from Pseudomonas.

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Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, University of Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium.


Members of the Pseudomonas genus produce diverse secondary metabolites affecting other bacteria, fungi or predating nematodes and protozoa but are also equipped with the capacity to secrete different types of ribosomally encoded toxic peptides and proteins, ranging from small microcins to large tailocins. Studies with the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa have revealed that effector proteins of type VI secretion systems are part of the antibacterial armamentarium deployed by pseudomonads. A novel class of antibacterial proteins with structural similarity to plant lectins was discovered by studying antagonism among plant-associated Pseudomonas strains. A genomic perspective on pseudomonad bacteriocinogeny shows that the modular architecture of S pyocins of P. aeruginosa is retained in a large diversified group of bacteriocins, most of which target DNA or RNA. Similar modularity is present in as yet poorly characterized Rhs (recombination hot spot) proteins and CDI (contact-dependent inhibition) proteins. Well-delimited domains for receptor recognition or cytotoxicity enable the design of chimeric toxins with novel functionalities, which has been applied successfully for S and R pyocins. Little is known regarding how these antibacterials are released and ultimately reach their targets. Other remaining issues concern the identification of environmental triggers activating these systems and assessment of their ecological impact in niches populated by pseudomonads.


CDI; Rhs; T6SS; bacteriocin; pyocin; tailocin

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