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Toxins and Secretion Systems of Photorhabdus luminescens

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Author(s): Athina Rodou | Dennis O. Ankrah | Christos Stathopoulos

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 1250;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Photorhabdus luminescens | bacterial protein toxins | secretion systems | gram-negative bacteria

ABSTRACT
Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae.Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and characterized in this bacterium. These toxins are classified into four major groups: the toxin complexes (Tcs), the Photorhabdus insect related (Pir) proteins, the “makes caterpillars floppy” (Mcf) toxins and the Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC); the mechanisms however of toxin secretion are not fully elucidated. Using bioinformatics analysis and comparison against the components of known secretion systems, multiple copies of components of all known secretion systems, except the ones composing a type IV secretion system, were identified throughout the entire genome of the bacterium. This indicates that Photorhabdus luminescens has all the necessary means for the secretion of virulence factors, thus it is capable of establishing a microbial infection.
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