To fulfill complex biological tasks, such as locomotion and protein translocation, bacteria assemble macromolecular nanomachines. One such nanodevice, the type III secretion system (T3SS), has evolved to provide a means of transporting proteins from the bacterial cytoplasm across the periplasmic and extracellular spaces. T3SS can be broadly classified into two highly homologous families: the flagellar T3SS which drive cell motility, and the non-flagellar T3SS (NF-T3SS) that inject effector proteins into eukaryotic host cells, a trait frequently associated with virulence. Although the structures and symmetries of ancillary components of the T3SS have diversified to match requirements of different species adapted to different niches, recent genetic, molecular and structural studies demonstrate that these systems are built by arranging homologous modular protein assemblies.
Curr Opin Struct Biol
111 - 117
Bacterial Proteins, Bacterial Secretion Systems, Nanotechnology