The Enigmatic Esx Proteins: Looking Beyond Mycobacteria

Meera Unnikrishnan (Lead / Corresponding author), Chrystala Constantinidou, Tracy Palmer, Mark J. Pallen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
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Bacteria export proteins across membranes using a range of transport machineries. Type VII secretion systems (T7SSs), originally described in mycobacteria, are now known to be widespread across diverse bacterial phyla. Recent studies have characterized secretion components and mechanisms of type VII secretion in pathogenic and environmental bacteria. A variety of functions have been attributed to T7SS substrates, including interactions with eukaryotes and with other bacteria. Here, we evaluate the growing body of knowledge on T7SSs, with focus on the nonmycobacterial systems, reviewing their phylogenetic distribution, structure and function in diverse settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
Early online date25 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Type VII secretion
  • Esx
  • WXG100
  • Toxin–antitoxin


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