Secretion of proteins by the general secretory pathway (GSP) is a two- step process requiring the Sec translocase in the inner membrane and a separate substrate-specific secretion apparatus for translocation across the outer membrane. Gram-negative bacteria with pathogenic potential use the GSP to deliver virulence factors into the extracellular environment for interaction with the host. Well-studied examples of virulence determinants using the GSP for secretion include extracellular toxins, pili, curli, autotransporters, and crystaline S-layers. This article reviews our current understanding of the GSP and discusses examples of terminal branches of the GSP which are utilized by factors implicated in bacterial virulence. (C) 2000 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.
- Elsevier SAS Gram-negative bacteria
- General secretory pathway
- Sec translocase