Relationship between quorum sensing and secretion systems

Rocio Trastoy Pena, Lucia Blasco, Antón Ambroa, Bertha González-Pedrajo, Laura Fernández-García, Maria López, Ines Bleriot, German Bou, Rodolfo García-Contreras, Thomas Keith Wood, Maria Tomás

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Quorum sensing (QS) is a communication mechanism between bacteria that allows specific processes to be controlled, such as biofilm formation, virulence factor expression, production of secondary metabolites and stress adaptation mechanisms such as bacterial competition systems including secretion systems (SS). These SS have an important role in bacterial communication. SS are ubiquitous; they are present in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and in Mycobacterium sp. To date, 8 types of SS have been described (T1SS, T2SS, T3SS, T4SS, T5SS, T6SS, T7SS, and T9SS). They have global functions such as the transport of proteases, lipases, adhesins, heme-binding proteins, and amidases, and specific functions such as the synthesis of proteins in host cells, adaptation to the environment, the secretion of effectors to establish an infectious niche, transfer, absorption and release of DNA, translocation of effector proteins or DNA and autotransporter secretion. All of these functions can contribute to virulence and pathogenesis. In this review, we describe the known types of SS and discuss the ones that have been shown to be regulated by QS. Due to the large amount of information about this topic in some pathogens, we focus mainly on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio spp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1100
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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