Trends in Microbiology vol:16 issue:9 pages:442-53
The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway is a prokaryotic transport system that enables the transport of folded proteins across the cytoplasmic membrane. The Tat pathway was originally thought to transport only proteins that bind cofactors in the cytoplasm and, thus, fold before transport, like many proteins related to energy metabolism. However, in recent years it has become clear that the Tat pathway has a broader role and is also an important virulence factor in different bacterial pathogens. Because the Tat pathway is well conserved among important bacterial pathogens and absent from mammalian cells, it could be a target for novel antimicrobial compounds. In this review, we highlight the importance of the Tat system for virulence in several human and plant pathogens.