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In situ architecture, function, and evolution of a contractile injection system

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Science  18 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6352, pp. 713-717
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan7904

Identification of a new injection system

To interact with other cells, bacteria use contractile machines that function similarly to membrane-puncturing bacteriophages. The so-called type 6 secretion system (T6SS) functions from inside a bacterial cell. Böck et al. used modern electron microscopy methods and functional assays to resolve the structure and function of a T6SS in the cellular context. They identified three modules and showed large-scale structural changes upon firing. T6SSs are organized in multibarrel gun-like arrays and may contribute to the survival of bacteria inside their host.

Science, this issue p. 713

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