PerspectiveCell Biology

Death by Lethal Injection

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Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1085-1086
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1085

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Yersinia, the genus of bacteria that produced the Black Plague, has devised a specialized secretion mechanism that injects toxic protein into cells. Silhavy describes this type III secretion mechanism, including the new results presented on p. 1140 of this issue that identify the targeting signal for these proteins. Unlike the signal sequences of many conventionally secreted proteins, which are located within the protein, the targeting information for these secreted proteins actually lies within their messenger RNA.