Type VII secretion - Mycobacteria show the way

Abdallah M. Abdallah*, Nicolaas C. Gey van Pittius, Patricia A. DiGiuseppe Champion, Jeffery Cox, Joen Luirink, Christina M.J.E. Vandenbroucke-Grauls, Ben J. Appelmelk, Wilbert Bitter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

561 Scopus citations


Recent evidence shows that mycobacteria have developed novel and specialized secretion systems for the transport of extracellular proteins across their hydrophobic, and highly impermeable, cell wall. Strikingly, mycobacterial genomes encode up to five of these transport systems. Two of these systems, ESX-1 and ESX-5, are involved in virulence - they both affect the cell-to-cell migration of pathogenic mycobacteria. Here, we discuss this novel secretion pathway and consider variants that are present in various Gram-positive bacteria. Given the unique composition of this secretion system, and its general importance, we propose that, in line with the accepted nomenclature, it should be called type VII secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-891
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


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