Evidence that CT694 is a novelChlamydia trachomatisT3S substrate capable of functioning during invasion or early cycle development

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Chlamydia trachomatisis an obligate intracellular parasite, occupies a membrane-bound vacuole throughout development and is capable of manipulating the eukaryotic host by translocating effector molecules via a type III secretion system (T3SS). The infectious chlamydial elementary body (EB) is metabolically inactive yet possesses a functional T3S apparatus capable of translocating effector proteins into the host cell to facilitate invasion and other early cycle events. We present evidence here that theC. trachomatisprotein CT694 represents an early cycle-associated effector protein. CT694 is secreted by theYersiniaT3SS and immunodetection studies of infected HeLa cultures indicate that CT694-specific signal accumulates directly adjacent to, but not completely overlapping with EBs during invasion. Yeast two-hybrid analyses revealed an interaction of CT694 with the repeat region and C-terminus of human AHNAK. Immunolocalization studies of CT694 ectopically expressed in HeLa cells were consistent with an interaction with endogenous AHNAK. Additionally, expression of CT694 in HeLa cells resulted in alterations in the detection of stress fibres that correlated with the ability of CT694 to interact with AHNAK. These data indicate that CT694 is a novel T3S-dependent substrate unique toC. trachomatis, and that its interaction with host proteins such as AHNAK may be important for aspects of invasion or development particular to this species.

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