The late chlamydial inclusion membrane is not derived from the endocytic pathway and is relatively deficient in host proteins.

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The late chlamydial inclusion membrane is not derived from the endocytic pathway and is relatively deficient in host proteins.

Publication Date
Sep 01, 1996
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Biology
License
Unknown

Abstract

Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular parasites which multiply within infected cells in a membrane-bound structure termed an inclusion. Newly internalized bacteria are surrounded by host plasma membrane; however, the source of membrane for the expansion of the inclusion is unknown. To determine if the membrane for the mature inclusion was derived by fusion with cellular organelles, we stained infected cells with fluorescent or electron-dense markers specific for organelles and examined inclusions for those markers. We observed no evidence for the presence of endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, late endosomal, or lysosomal proteins in the inclusion. These data suggest that the expansion of the inclusion membrane, beginning 24 h postinoculation, does not occur by the addition of host proteins resulting from either de novo host synthesis or by fusion with preexisting membranes. To determine the source of the expanding inclusion membrane, antibodies were produced against isolated membranes from Chlamydia-infected mouse cells. The antibodies were demonstrated to be solely against Chlamydia-specified proteins by both immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-labeled extracts and Western blotting (immunoblotting). Techniques were used to semipermeabilize Chlamydia-infected cells without disrupting the permeability of the inclusion, allowing antibodies access to the outer surface of the inclusion membrane. Immunofluorescent staining demonstrated a ring-like fluorescence around inclusions in semipermeabilized cells, whereas Triton X-100-permeabilized cells showed staining throughout the inclusion. These studies demonstrate that the inclusion membrane is made up, in part, of Chlamydia-specified proteins and not of existing host membrane proteins.

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