The Type VI secretion system: a versatile bacterial weapon

Sarah Coulthurst (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)
606 Downloads (Pure)


The Type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a protein nanomachine that is widespread in Gram-negative bacteria and is used to translocate effector proteins directly into neighbouring cells. It represents a versatile bacterial weapon that can deliver effectors into distinct classes of target cells, playing key roles in inter-bacterial competition and bacterial interactions with eukaryotic cells. This versatility is underpinned by the ability of the T6SS to deliver a vast array of effector proteins, with many distinct activities and modes of interaction with the secretion machinery. Recent work has highlighted the importance and diversity of interactions mediated by T6SSs within polymicrobial communities, and offers new molecular insights into effector delivery and action in target cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000789
Pages (from-to)503-515
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Bacterial protein secretion
  • Type VI secretion system
  • bacterial effector proteins
  • polymicrobial communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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