Current Microbiology, Vol.67, No.6, 688-695, 2013
How are the Non-classically Secreted Bacterial Proteins Released into the Extracellular Milieu?
Most bacterial proteins that are destined to leave the cytoplasm are exported across the cell membrane to their sites of function. These proteins are generally exported via the classical secretion pathway, in which the signal peptide plays a central role. However, some bacterial proteins have been found in the extracellular milieu without any apparent signal peptide. As none of the classical secretion systems is involved in their secretion, this occurrence is termed non-classical protein secretion. The mechanism or mechanisms responsible for non-classical secretion are contentious. This review compiles evidence from the debate over whether the release of the non-classically secreted proteins is the result of cell lysis and discusses how these proteins are exported to the exterior of the cell.