A binary effector module secreted by a type VI secretion system

Yasmin Dar, Biswanath Jana, Eran Bosis*, Dor Salomon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gram-negative bacteria use type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) to deliver toxic effector proteins into neighboring cells. Cargo effectors are secreted by binding noncovalently to the T6SS apparatus. Occasionally, effector secretion is assisted by an adaptor protein, although the adaptor itself is not secreted. Here, we report a new T6SS secretion mechanism, in which an effector and a co-effector are secreted together. Specifically, we identify a novel periplasm-targeting effector that is secreted together with its co-effector, which contains a MIX (marker for type sIX effector) domain previously reported only in polymorphic toxins. The effector and co-effector directly interact, and they are dependent on each other for secretion. We term this new secretion mechanism “a binary effector module,” and we show that it is widely distributed in marine bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53981
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2022


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