The toolbox for uncovering the functions of Legionella Dot/Icm Type IVb secretion system effectors: Current state and future directions

Gunnar N. Schroeder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Citations (Scopus)
188 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The defective in organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication (Dot/Icm) Type IVb secretion system (T4SS) is the essential virulence factor for the intracellular life style and pathogenicity of Legionella species. Screens demonstrated that an individual L. pneumophila strain can use the Dot/Icm T4SS to translocate an unprecedented number of more than 300 proteins into host cells, where these, so called Icm/Dot-translocated substrates (IDTS) or effectors, manipulate host cell functions to the benefit of the bacteria. Bioinformatic analysis of the pan-genus genome predicts at least 608 orthologous groups of putative effectors. Deciphering the function of these effectors is key to understanding Legionella pathogenesis; however, the analysis is challenging. Substantial functional redundancy renders classical, phenotypic screening of single gene deletion mutants mostly ineffective. Here, I review experimental approaches that were successfully used to identify, validate and functionally characterize T4SS effectors and highlight new methods, which promise to facilitate unlocking the secrets of Legionella's extraordinary weapons arsenal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number528
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Dot/Icm
  • Effectors
  • Functional genomics
  • Host targets
  • Infection models
  • Legionella
  • Toolbox
  • Type IVb secretion system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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