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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,*
1
Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
2
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16110433
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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