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Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Regulatory Mechanisms Controlling Type III Secretion

  • Marcel Volk
  • Ines Vollmer
  • Ann Kathrin Heroven
  • Petra DerschEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series


Type III secretion systems (T3SSs) are utilized by numerous Gram-negative bacteria to efficiently interact with host cells and manipulate their function. Appropriate expression of type III secretion genes is achieved through the integration of multiple control elements and regulatory pathways that ultimately coordinate the activity of a central transcriptional activator usually belonging to the AraC/XylS family. Although several regulatory elements are conserved between different species and families, each pathogen uses a unique set of control factors and mechanisms to adjust and optimize T3SS gene expression to the need and lifestyle of the pathogen. This is reflected by the complex set of sensory systems and diverse transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational control strategies modulating T3SS expression in response to environmental and intrinsic cues. Whereas some pathways regulate solely the T3SS, others coordinately control expression of one or multiple T3SSs together with other virulence factors and fitness traits on a global scale. Over the past years, several common regulatory themes emerged, e.g., environmental control by two-component systems and carbon metabolism regulators or coupling of T3SS induction with host cell contact/translocon-effector secretion. One of the remaining challenges is to resolve the understudied post-transcriptional regulation of T3SS and the dynamics of the control process.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel Volk
    • 1
  • Ines Vollmer
    • 1
  • Ann Kathrin Heroven
    • 1
  • Petra Dersch
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Infection BiologyHelmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchBrunswickGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Infectiology, University MünsterMünsterGermany

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