A sophisticated multi-step secretion mechanism: how the type 3 secretion system is regulated


For correspondence. E-mail kolbe@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de; Tel. (+49) 30 28460 332; Fax (+49) 30 28460 301.


Many Gram-negative pathogens utilize type 3 secretion systems (T3SSs) for a successful infection. The T3SS is a large macromolecular complex which spans both bacterial membranes and delivers effector proteins into the host cell. The infection requires spatiotemporal control of diverse sets of secreted effectors and various mechanisms have evolved to regulate T3SS in response to external stimuli. This review will describe mechanisms that may control type 3 secretion, revealing a multi-step regulatory strategy. We then propose an updated model of T3SS that illustrates different stages of secretion and integrates the most recent structural and functional data.