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Open AccessArticle

The Antibacterial and Anti-Eukaryotic Type VI Secretion System MIX-Effector Repertoire in Vibrionaceae

by Yasmin Dar 1, Dor Salomon 1,* and Eran Bosis 2,*
Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Department of Biotechnology Engineering, ORT Braude College of Engineering, Karmiel 2161002, Israel
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(11), 433;
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 4 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacterial Toxins)
Vibrionaceae is a widespread family of aquatic bacteria that includes emerging pathogens and symbionts. Many Vibrionaceae harbor a type VI secretion system (T6SS), which is a secretion apparatus used to deliver toxins, termed effectors, into neighboring cells. T6SSs mediate both antibacterial and anti-eukaryotic activities. Notably, antibacterial effectors are encoded together with a gene that encodes a cognate immunity protein so as to antagonize the toxicity of the effector. The MIX (Marker for type sIX effectors) domain has been previously defined as a marker of T6SS effectors carrying polymorphic C-terminal toxins. Here, we set out to identify the Vibrionaceae MIX-effector repertoire and to analyze the various toxin domains they carry. We used a computational approach to search for the MIX-effectors in the Vibrionaceae genomes, and grouped them into clusters based on the C-terminal toxin domains. We classified MIX-effectors as either antibacterial or anti-eukaryotic, based on the presence or absence of adjacent putative immunity genes, respectively. Antibacterial MIX-effectors carrying pore-forming, phospholipase, nuclease, peptidoglycan hydrolase, and protease activities were found. Furthermore, we uncovered novel virulence MIX-effectors. These are encoded by “professional MIXologist” strains that employ a cocktail of antibacterial and anti-eukaryotic MIX-effectors. Our findings suggest that certain Vibrionaceae adapted their antibacterial T6SS to mediate interactions with eukaryotic hosts or predators. View Full-Text
Keywords: T6SS; vibrio; MIX-effector; toxin; secretion; virulence; antibacterial T6SS; vibrio; MIX-effector; toxin; secretion; virulence; antibacterial
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Dar, Y.; Salomon, D.; Bosis, E. The Antibacterial and Anti-Eukaryotic Type VI Secretion System MIX-Effector Repertoire in Vibrionaceae. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 433.

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