Microbiology

Targeting the CaRRier

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2103-2105
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5576.2103e

Bacterial proteins that do not have eukaryotic counterparts hold special appeal as drug targets. The twin arginine protein translocation pathway (Tat) carries fully folded proteins across the bacterial inner membrane; it also functions in plants to transport proteins from the cytosol into the thylakoid space of chloroplasts. Ochsner et al. show that the Tat system is responsible for the export of virulence factors (such as phospholipase C) in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, deletion of one of the core Tat components, tatC, eliminated the ability of bacterial cells to infiltrate and colonize rat lungs in a model system for P. aeruginosa infection. These authors and Yen et al. both note that the genomes of other pathogenic bacteria encode TatC proteins. — GJC

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.99, 8312 (2002); Arch. Microbiol.177, 441 (2002).

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