Submitted to: Microbes and Infection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Chlamydia trachomatis is a pathogenic bacterium that grows inside human epithelial cells during infection. Inside these epithelial cells, the bacteria are contained within a membrane-bound compartment called an inclusion. The biology surrounding the membrane of the inclusion is of interest because it is through this membrane that the chlamydia communicate ewith the infected host cell. This communication may enable chlamydia to persist or survive during infection and cause disease. Several proteins, produced and secreted by chlamydia, have been shown to be present on the inclusion membrane. While the function of these proteins are still unknown, some of them are recognized by host cell kinases (proteins that donate a phosphate molecule to another protein) whereas other chlamydial proteins interact even more directly (by binding or attaching) with host cell proteins. The transfer of a phosphate molecule to a chlamydial protein is a aclear indication of some type of signaling event. The implications of thes findings in the pathnogenesis of chlamydial infections are discussed.
Technical Abstract: The chlamydiae are obligate intracellular pathogens that occupy a nonacidified vacuole (the inclusion) during their entire developmental cycle. Several proteins have recently been identified that are localized to the inclusion membrane. The role of these proteins in the biology of chlamydial intracellular parasitism is just beginning to be elucidated. The following is a discussion of these proteins and of how they might participate in the chlamydial developmental process.