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Tracking Proteins Secreted by Bacteria: What's in the Toolbox?

Abstract : Bacteria have acquired multiple systems to expose proteins on their surface, release them in the extracellular environment or even inject them into a neighboring cell. Protein secretion has a high adaptive value and secreted proteins are implicated in many functions, which are often essential for bacterial fitness. Several secreted proteins or secretion machineries have been extensively studied as potential drug targets. It is therefore important to identify the secretion substrates, to understand how they are specifically recognized by the secretion machineries, and how transport through these machineries occurs. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the biochemical, genetic and imaging tools that have been developed to evaluate protein secretion in a qualitative or quantitative manner. After a brief overview of the different tools available, we will illustrate their advantages and limitations through a discussion of some of the current open questions related to protein secretion. We will start with the question of the identification of secreted proteins, which for many bacteria remains a critical initial step toward a better understanding of their interactions with the environment. We will then illustrate our toolbox by reporting how these tools have been applied to better understand how substrates are recognized by their cognate machinery, and how secretion proceeds. Finally, we will highlight recent approaches that aim at investigating secretion in real time, and in complex environments such as a tissue or an organism.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 10:13:05 AM
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Benoit Maffei, Olivera Francetic, Agathe Subtil. Tracking Proteins Secreted by Bacteria: What's in the Toolbox?. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, Frontiers, 2017, 7, pp.221. ⟨10.3389/fcimb.2017.00221⟩. ⟨pasteur-01909396⟩

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