Chlamydiae under stress : environmental conditions influence the production and localization of chlamydial antigens Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fn107247c

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  • Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular pathogens that cause several serious conditions within the human host. Many of the symptoms associated with infection are thought to stem from the development of aberrant, or persistent, chlamydiae. Factors leading to chlamydial persistence include deprivation of amino acids, the release of certain cellular factors, or the addition of inhibitors of bacterial cell wall or DNA synthesis. Such changes within the chlamydial environment often lead to modifications in cell morphology, gene expression, chlamydial development, and antigen localization. In this report, I examine changes in antigen production and localization in Chlamydia-infected cells cultured in the presence of environmental stressors. There are three major areas of chlamydial biology examined: 1) how do the chlamydiae divide in the absence of FtsZ, 2) what is the importance of the predicted peptidoglycan hydrolase, PapQ; 3) what changes occur in antigen production and localization during the development of chlamydial persistence. One significant nonproteinacious factor apparently involved in chlamydial division is the SEP (septum) antigen, which localizes to the midcell of dividing chlamydiae. Non-dividing forms, such as persistent chlamydiae and EB, lack the septal placement of SEP, further suggesting the involvement of SEP in RB division. The production of the predicted hydrolase, PapQ, localizes to the cytosol of RB and, to a limited extent, within the EB. PapQ begins to accumulate as early as 12 hours after infection and during the time of RB-EB transition, an additional, smaller PapQ product accumulates. Ampicillin and tetracycline treatment inhibits accumulation of the smaller product suggesting that PapQ may be processed by a late expressed protease. This may have significance in RB-EB transition. The IncA-laden fibers protruding from the inclusion and into the host cytosol colocalize with a variety of different antigens that are generally restricted to the chlamydial outer membrane. Changes in culture conditions leads to changes in the amount and type of antigens localizing within the fibers. Chlamydial persistence dramatically influences the production and localization of several chlamydial antigens, creating significant changes in chlamydial cell biology that may enhance survival within the host.
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