Chapter 12 : What Genomics Has Taught Us about Gram-Positive Protein Secretion and Targeting

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This chapter briefly reviews the Sec pathway and its modification in gram-positive bacteria and discusses second independent protein targeting pathways. Some gram-positive bacteria have evolved protein secretion machines dedicated to the assembly of macro-molecular structures such as flagella, type 4 pili, or Flp pili, all of which can be viewed by light or electron microscopy as elongated organelles that protrude from the cell surface. The chapter describes the general principles of protein secretion in gram-positive bacteria along with a few examples. The factors that catalyze protein secretion can be predicted in silico and identified in genomes of all gram-positive bacteria. Sec-mediated protein secretion has been best studied in and, more recently, in . S-layer proteins are deposited on the surface of gram-positive bacteria to establish specific interactions with cell wall polymers. Many other proteins decorate the cell wall envelope of gram-positive bacteria but are not covalently attached to the envelope. The major subunit of flagella, flagellin, is exported through the hollow conduct made by the basal body across the membrane and hook. Rational vaccine design was achieved by interrogating conserved antigens (secreted or surface displayed) for protective immunity, which led to the identification of multiple surface proteins of group B streptococci as candidates.

Citation: Schneewind O, Missiakas D. 2007. What Genomics Has Taught Us about Gram-Positive Protein Secretion and Targeting, p 301-326. In Pallen M, Nelson K, Preston G (ed), Bacterial Pathogenomics. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815530.ch12
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