Cleavage of host keratin 8 by a chlamydia-secreted protease

Feng Dong, Heng Su, Yanqing Huang, Youmin Zhong, Guangming Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3863-3868
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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