Dual Role for DsbA in Attacking and Targeted Bacterial Cells during Type VI Secretion System-Mediated Competition

Giuseppina Mariano, Laura Monlezun, Sarah J. Coulthurst (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Incorporation of disulphide bonds into proteins can be critical for function or stability. In bacterial cells, the periplasmic enzyme DsbA is responsible for disulphide incorporation into many extra-cytoplasmic proteins. The Type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a widely-occurring nanomachine which delivers toxic effector proteins directly into rival bacterial cells, playing a key role in inter-bacterial competition. We report that two redundant DsbA proteins are required for virulence and for proper deployment of the T6SS in the opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens, with several T6SS components being subject to the action of DsbA in secreting cells. Importantly, we demonstrate that DsbA also plays a critical role in recipient target cells, being required for the toxicity of certain incoming effector proteins. Thus we reveal that target cell functions can be hijacked by T6SS effectors for effector activation, adding a further level of complexity to the T6SS-mediated inter-bacterial interactions which define varied microbial communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-785
Number of pages12
JournalCell Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2018


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