A Hitchhiker's Guide to Type IV Secretion

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Science  21 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5674, pp. 1122-1123
DOI: 10.1126/science.1098806

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The Type IV secretion (T4S) apparatus of bacteria enables these organisms to exchange genetic material with each other, and to transmit DNA or effector proteins directly into host cells. The Perspective by Lybarger and Sandkvist discusses a new study (Cascales and Christie) that provides a remarkably detailed step-by-step analysis of how the T4S machinery of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens injects DNA into plant cells.