EssC is a specificity determinant for Staphylococcus aureus type VII secretion

Franziska Jäger, Holger Kneuper, Tracy Palmer (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


The Type VII protein secretion system (T7SS) is found in actinobacteria and firmicutes, and plays important roles in virulence and interbacterial competition. A membrane-bound ATPase protein, EssC in Staphylococcus aureus, lies at the heart of the secretion machinery. The EssC protein from S. aureus strains can be grouped into four variants (EssC1-EssC4) that display sequence variability in the C-terminal region. Here we show that the EssC2, EssC3 and EssC4 variants can be produced in a strain deleted for essC1 and that they are able to mediate secretion of EsxA, an essential component of the secretion apparatus. They are, however, unable to support secretion of the substrate protein EsxC, which is encoded only in essC1-specific strains. This finding indicates that EssC is a specificity determinant for T7 protein secretion. Our results support a model where the C-terminal domain of EssC interacts with substrate proteins whereas EsxA interacts elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number000650
Pages (from-to)816-820
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Early online date5 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Protein secretion
  • Type VII secretion
  • Substrate recognition
  • substrate recognition
  • protein secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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