Genomic Analysis of Secretion Systems

Mark Pallen, Roy Chaudhuri, Ian Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Citations (Scopus)


Secretion of proteins into the extracellular environment is important to almost all bacteria, and in particular mediates interactions between pathogenic or symbiotic bacteria with their eukaryotic hosts. The accumulation of bacterial genome sequence data in the past few years has provided great insights into the distribution and function of these secretion systems. Three systems are responsible for secretion of proteins across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane: Sec, SRP and Tat. Many novel examples of systems for transport across the Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope have been discovered through genome sequencing and surveys, including many novel type III secretion systems and autotransporters. Similarly, genomic data mining has revealed many new potential secretion substrates and identified unsuspected domains in secretion-associated proteins. Interestingly, genomic analyses have also hinted at the existence of a dedicated protein secretion system in Gram-positive bacteria, targeting members of the WXG100/ESAT-6 family of proteins, and have revealed an unexpectedly wide distribution of sortase-driven protein-targeting systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


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