Chlamydiae have to replicate within a cytoplasmic vacuole in eukaryotic cells. Expansion of the chlamydialaden vacuole is essential for chlamydial intravacuolar replication, which inevitably causes host cell cytoskeleton rearrangements. A cleavage fragment of keratin 8 corresponding to the central rod region was detected in the soluble fraction of chlamydia-infected cells. Since keratin 8 is a major component of the intermediate filaments in simple epithelial cells, cleavage of keratin 8 may increase the solubility of the host cell cytoskeleton and thus permit vacuole expansion in chlamydia-infected cells. A chlamydia-secreted protease designated CPAF (chlamydial protease/proteasome- like activity factor) was both necessary and sufficient for keratin 8 cleavage in chlamydia-infected cells, suggesting that chlamydiae have evolved specific mechanisms for modifying the host cell cytoskeleton.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases