Recognition and delivery of effector proteins into eukaryotic cells by bacterial secretion systems

Eric D. Cambronne, Craig R. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The direct transport of virulence proteins from bacterium to host has emerged as a common strategy employed by Gram-negative pathogens to establish infections. Specialized secretion systems function to facilitate this process. The delivery of 'effector' proteins by these secretion systems is currently confined to two functionally similar but mechanistically distinct pathways, termed type III and type IV secretion. The type III secretion pathway is ancestrally related to the multiprotein complexes that assemble flagella, whereas the type IV mechanism probably emerged from the protein complexes that support conjugal transfer of DNA. Although both pathways serve to transport proteins from the bacterium to host, the recognition of the effector protein substrates and the secretion information contained in these proteins appear highly distinct. Here, we review the mechanisms involved in the selection of substrates by each of these transport systems and secretion signal information required for substrate transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-939
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chaperone
  • Effector protein
  • Pathogenesis
  • Secretion signal
  • Type III secretion
  • Type IV secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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