Caister Academic Press

Secretome Mapping in Gram-Positive Pathogens

Mark J.J.B. Sibbald and Jan Maarten van Dijl
from: Bacterial Secreted Proteins: Secretory Mechanisms and Role in Pathogenesis (Edited by: Karl Wooldridge). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Many diseases are caused by bacteria. While most infections are easy to treat with antibiotics, various bacteria seem to gain resistance against these antibiotics very rapidly. During the infective process bacteria need to express proteins that are necessary for colonization and spreading throughout the host tissue. Other proteins are needed for protecting the bacteria against attacks from the immune system or from other bacteria that belong to the normal human microbiota. All these proteins have to be transported across bacterial membrane(s) to be effective in host cell adhesion, function as agents for host cell subversion, and form protective responses to stressful conditions, for example during the process of phagocytosis. In Gram-positive bacteria, several pathways exist to transport these proteins across membranes. The fate of the translocated proteins then depends on the presence or absence of retention signals. This chapter deals with the secretion pathways existing in Gram-positive bacteria. The focus will be on the components of translocation pathways that are known to be involved in the recognition, translocation, and further processing of extracellular proteins and in particular virulence factors. Known pathways and current insights on new pathways will be discussed in relation to the secretion of (known) virulence factors read more ...
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