The Hrp pilus: learning from flagella.
Plant pathogenic bacteria deliver avirulence and virulence effector proteins into plant cells via the hrp-gene-encoded type III secretion system. A key component of this secretion system is a surface appendage called the Hrp pilus. Recent results suggest that the Hrp pilus serves as a conduit for type III protein secretion and that it is assembled in a manner similar to the flagellum. The Hrp pilus is likely to be the functional equivalent of the needle extension, assembled by type III secretion systems of mammalian pathogenic bacteria.
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