The type II secretion system: Biogenesis, molecular architecture and mechanism

Konstantin V. Korotkov, Maria Sandkvist, Wim G.J. Hol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

368 Scopus citations


Many Gram-negative bacteria use the sophisticated type II secretion system (T2SS) to translocate a wide range of proteins from the periplasm across the outer membrane. The inner-membrane platform of the T2SS is the nexus of the system and orchestrates the secretion process through its interactions with the periplasmic filamentous pseudopilus, the dodecameric outer-membrane complex and a cytoplasmic secretion ATPase. Here, recent structural and biochemical information is reviewed to describe our current knowledge of the biogenesis and architecture of the T2SS and its mechanism of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-351
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the many members of their groups who have made important contributions to the studies reported, and special thanks go to J. Abendroth, M. Robien, S. Turley, T. Johnson, M. Patrick and M. Gray. They also thank their many collaborators on the T2SS project, including J. Steyaert and E. Pardon for the preparation of valuable nanobodies, and T. Gonen and his group for electron microscopy studies. This work was supported by awards RO1AI049294 (to M.S.) and RO1AI34501 (to W.G.J.H.) from the US National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and earlier support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to W.G.J.H. is deeply appreciated.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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