Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Protein secretion systems in bacterial-host associations, and their description in the Gene Ontology

By Tsai-Tien Tseng, Brett M Tyler and João C Setubal


Protein secretion plays a central role in modulating the interactions of bacteria with their environments. This is particularly the case when symbiotic bacteria (whether pathogenic, commensal or mutualistic) are interacting with larger host organisms. In the case of Gram-negative bacteria, secretion requires translocation across the outer as well as the inner membrane, and a diversity of molecular machines have been elaborated for this purpose. A number of secreted proteins are destined to enter the host cell (effectors and toxins), and thus several secretion systems include apparatus to translocate proteins across the plasma membrane of the host also. The Plant-Associated Microbe Gene Ontology (PAMGO) Consortium has been developing standardized terms for describing biological processes and cellular components that play important roles in the interactions of microbes with plant and animal hosts, including the processes of bacterial secretion. Here we survey bacterial secretion systems known to modulate interactions with host organisms and describe Gene Ontology terms useful for describing the components and functions of these systems, and for capturing the similarities among the diverse systems

Topics: Review
Publisher: BioMed Central
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. (2007). A: Bacterial protein secretion through the translocase nanomachine. Nat Rev Microbiol
  2. (2006). AJ: Protein secretion in the Archaea: multiple paths towards a unique cell surface. Nat Rev Microbiol
  3. (2004). Ala'Aldeen D: Type V protein secretion pathway: the autotransporter story. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev
  4. (2007). Are bacterial 'autotransporters' really transporters? Trends in Microbiology
  5. (2008). Bleves S: The bacterial type VI secretion machine: yet another player for protein transport across membranes.
  6. (2009). BM: Common and contrasting themes in host-cell-targeted effectors from bacterial, fungal, oomycete and nematode plant symbionts.
  7. (2005). Cascales E: Structural and dynamic properties of bacterial type IV secretion systems (review). Mol Membr Biol
  8. (2009). Collmer CW: Gene Ontology annotation highlights shared and divergent pathogenic strategies of type III effector proteins deployed by the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 and animal pathogenic Escherichia coli strains.
  9. (2005). Cornelis GR: The bacterial injection kit: type III secretion systems.
  10. (2004). Coutte L: Protein secretion through autotransporter and two-partner pathways.
  11. (2007). CW: Symbiosis-induced cascade regulation of the Mesorhizobium loti R7A VirB/D4 type IV secretion system. Mol Plant Microbe Interact
  12. (2007). DW: TolC is required for pathogenicity of Xylella fastidiosa in Vitis vinifera grapevines. Mol Plant Microbe Interact
  13. (2003). Graur D: Bacterial type III secretion systems are ancient and evolved by multiple horizontal-transfer events. Gene
  14. (2007). HD: Protein secretion in gram-negative bacteria via the autotransporter pathway. Annual Review of Microbiology
  15. (2006). JL: Subterfuge and manipulation: type III effector proteins of phytopathogenic bacteria. Annu Rev Microbiol
  16. (2006). Jr: Protein secretion and membrane insertion systems in gram-negative bacteria.
  17. (2008). LM: The outer membrane protein TolC from Sinorhizobium meliloti affects protein secretion, polysaccharide biosynthesis, antimicrobial resistance, and symbiosis. Mol Plant Microbe Interact
  18. (2008). Mande SS: Identification and functional characterization of gene components of Type VI secretion system in bacterial genomes. PLoS ONE
  19. (2004). PC: Bacterial genes involved in type I secretion and sulfation are required to elicit the rice Xa21-mediated innate immune response. Mol Plant Microbe Interact
  20. (2008). Quorum sensing coordinates brute force and stealth modes of infection in the plant pathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum. PLoS pathogens
  21. (2008). Rhizobial secreted proteins as determinants of host specificity in the rhizobium-legume symbiosis.
  22. (1997). Saier MH Jr: Computer-based analyses of the protein constituents of transport systems catalysing export of complex carbohydrates in bacteria. Microbiology
  23. (2003). Saier MH Jr: The general protein secretory pathway: phylogenetic analyses leading to evolutionary conclusions. Biochim Biophys Acta
  24. (2000). Saier MH: Membrane-fusion protein homologues in gram-positive bacteria. Mol Microbiol
  25. (2008). Secretome analysis uncovers an Hcp-family protein secreted via a type VI secretion system in Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
  26. (2008). SM: What's the point of the type III secretion system needle? Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
  27. (2009). The Plant-Associated Microbe Gene Ontology (PAMGO) Consortium: community development of new gene ontology terms describing biological processes involved in microbe-host interactions.
  28. (2006). The type III secretion injectisome. Nat Rev Microbiol
  29. (2008). The type VI secretion toolkit. EMBO reports
  30. (2004). The underlying mechanisms of type II protein secretion.
  31. (2005). Twin-arginine-specific protein export in Escherichia coli.
  32. (2005). Type 1 protein secretion in bacteria, the ABC-transporter dependent pathway (review). Molecular Membrane Biology
  33. (2004). Type I secretion in gram-negative bacteria.
  34. (2005). Type II secretion: a protein secretion system for all seasons. Trends in Microbiology
  35. (2007). Type VI secretion system translocates a phage tail spike-like protein into target cells where it cross-links actin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
  36. (2008). Type VI secretion: a beginner's guide. Curr Opin Microbiol
  37. (2007). Type VII secretion–mycobacteria show the way. Nat Rev Microbiol
  38. (2006). Zorreguieta A: Proteins exported via the PrsDPrsE type I secretion system and the acidic exopolysaccharide are involved in biofilm formation by Rhizobium leguminosarum.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.