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Elife. 2018 Jul 17;7. pii: e35886. doi: 10.7554/eLife.35886.

A protein secreted by the Salmonella type III secretion system controls needle filament assembly.

Author information

Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, United States.
Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, United States.
Contributed equally


Type III protein secretion systems (T3SS) are encoded by several pathogenic or symbiotic bacteria. The central component of this nanomachine is the needle complex. Here we show in a Salmonella Typhimurium T3SS that assembly of the needle filament of this structure requires OrgC, a protein encoded within the T3SS gene cluster. Absence of OrgC results in significantly reduced number of needle substructures but does not affect needle length. We show that OrgC is secreted by the T3SS and that exogenous addition of OrgC can complement a ∆orgC mutation. We also show that OrgC interacts with the needle filament subunit PrgI and accelerates its polymerization into filaments in vitro. The structure of OrgC shows a novel fold with a shared topology with a domain from flagellar capping proteins. These findings identify a novel component of T3SS and provide new insight into the assembly of the type III secretion machine.


bacterial nanomachines; bacterial pathogenesis; infectious disease; microbiology; organelle assembly; protien secretion; salmonella typhimurium; type III secretion

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