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      Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the Type III Secretion System

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          Drug-resistant pathogens have presented increasing challenges to the discovery and development of new antibacterial agents. The type III secretion system (T3SS), existing in bacterial chromosomes or plasmids, is one of the most complicated protein secretion systems. T3SSs of animal and plant pathogens possess many highly conserved main structural components comprised of about 20 proteins. Many Gram-negative bacteria carry T3SS as a major virulence determinant, and using the T3SS, the bacteria secrete and inject effector proteins into target host cells, triggering disease symptoms. Therefore, T3SS has emerged as an attractive target for antimicrobial therapeutics. In recent years, many T3SS-targeting small-molecule inhibitors have been discovered; these inhibitors prevent the bacteria from injecting effector proteins and from causing pathophysiology in host cells. Targeting the virulence of Gram-negative pathogens, rather than their survival, is an innovative and promising approach that may greatly reduce selection pressures on pathogens to develop drug-resistant mutations. This article summarizes recent progress in the search for promising small-molecule T3SS inhibitors that target the secretion and translocation of bacterial effector proteins.

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          Most cited references 56

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          Bacteria that have sustained long-standing close associations with eukaryotic hosts have evolved specific adaptations to survive and replicate in this environment. Perhaps one of the most remarkable of those adaptations is the type III secretion system (T3SS)--a bacterial organelle that has specifically evolved to deliver bacterial proteins into eukaryotic cells. Although originally identified in a handful of pathogenic bacteria, T3SSs are encoded by a large number of bacterial species that are symbiotic or pathogenic for humans, other animals including insects or nematodes, and plants. The study of these systems is leading to unique insights into not only organelle assembly and protein secretion but also mechanisms of symbiosis and pathogenesis.
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              The bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica has evolved a very sophisticated functional interface with its vertebrate hosts. At the center of this interface is a specialized organelle, the type III secretion system, that directs the translocation of bacterial proteins into the host cell. Salmonella spp. encode two such systems that deliver a remarkable array of bacterial proteins capable of modulating a variety of cellular functions, including actin cytoskeleton dynamics, nuclear responses, and endocytic trafficking. Many of these bacterial proteins operate by faithful mimicry of host proteins, in some cases representing the result of extensive molecular tinkering and convergent evolution. The coordinated action of these type III secreted proteins secures the replication and survival of the bacteria avoiding overt damage to the host. The study of this remarkable pathogen is not only illuminating general paradigms in microbial pathogenesis but is also providing valuable insight into host cell functions.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                23 September 2015
                September 2015
                : 20
                : 9
                : 17659-17674
                School of Pharmaceutical Engineering and Life Science, Changzhou University, Changzhou 213164, China; E-Mails: kikyo1210@ 123456sina.com (L.G.); sunnychou33@ 123456sina.com (S.Z.); zhulanping91@ 123456163.com (L.Z.); Liang_cuirong@ 123456163.com (C.L.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: xinchen@ 123456cczu.edu.cn ; Tel.: +86-519-8633-4597; Fax: +86-519-8633-4598.
                © 2015 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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