Bacterial type VII secretion: An important player in host‐microbe and microbe‐microbe interactions Academic Article uri icon

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  • Type VII secretion systems (T7SSs) are poorly understood protein export apparatuses found in mycobacteria and many species of Gram-positive bacteria. To date, this pathway has predominantly been studied in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, where it has been shown to play an essential role in virulence; however, much less studied is an evolutionarily divergent subfamily of T7SSs referred to as the T7SSb. The T7SSb is found in the major Gram-positive phylum Firmicutes where it was recently shown to target both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, suggesting a dual role for this pathway in host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions. In this review, we compare the current understanding of the molecular architectures and substrate repertoires of the well-studied mycobacterial T7SSa systems to that of recently characterized T7SSb pathways and highlight how these differences may explain the observed biological functions of this understudied protein export machine.


  • Tran, Hiu‐Ki R
  • Grebenc, Dirk W
  • Klein, Timothy A
  • Whitney, John

publication date

  • March 2021