A modular effector with a DNase domain and a marker for T6SS substrates

Biswanath Jana, Chaya M. Fridman, Eran Bosis, Dor Salomon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteria deliver toxic effectors via type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) to dominate competitors, but the identity and function of many effectors remain unknown. Here we identify a Vibrio antibacterial T6SS effector that contains a previously undescribed, widespread DNase toxin domain that we call PoNe (Polymorphic Nuclease effector). PoNe belongs to a diverse superfamily of PD-(D/E)xK phosphodiesterases, and is associated with several toxin delivery systems including type V, type VI, and type VII. PoNe toxicity is antagonized by cognate immunity proteins (PoNi) containing DUF1911 and DUF1910 domains. In addition to PoNe, the effector contains a domain of unknown function (FIX domain) that is also found N-terminal to known toxin domains and is genetically and functionally linked to T6SS. FIX sequences can be used to identify T6SS effector candidates with potentially novel toxin domains. Our findings underline the modular nature of bacterial effectors harboring delivery or marker domains, specific to a secretion system, fused to interchangeable toxins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3595
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


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