Type III CRISPR-Cas systems and the roles of CRISPR-Cas in bacterial virulence

Asma Hatoum-Aslan, Kelli L. Palmer, Michael S. Gilmore, Luciano A. Marraffini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Type III CRISPR-Cas systems constitute nearly a quarter of all known CRISPR systems and have been found to reside in both archaea and bacteria, including important bacterial pathogens such as staphylococci and mycobacteria. By blocking the horizontal transfer of bacteriophage and conjugative plasmids, CRISPR-Cas systems not only protect against foreign invaders, but also prevent the acquisition of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance cassettes that are encoded in these mobile genetic elements. For this reason, these systems can have a broad impact on the evolution of bacterial pathogens. This chapter explores in-depth our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of CRISPR interference in the type III systems in particular, and more generally, the existing data supporting the role of CRISPR-Cas systems in the emergence of bacterial pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCRISPR-Cas Systems
Subtitle of host publicationRNA-Mediated Adaptive Immunity in Bacteria and Archaea
EditorsRodolphe Barrangou, John van der Oost
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783642346576
ISBN (Print)9783642346569
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Primary Processing
  • Primary Cleavage
  • CRISPR Locus
  • Conjugative Plasmid
  • Antibiotic Resistance Gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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