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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009;2009:342032. doi: 10.1155/2009/342032. Epub 2009 Aug 16.

Chlamydia trachomatis alters iron-regulatory protein-1 binding capacity and modulates cellular iron homeostasis in HeLa-229 cells.

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  • 1Division of Microbiology/Tissue Culture, Institute of Pathology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Safdarjung Hospital Campus, New Delhi, Pin 110029, India.


Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) is the leading cause of diseases related to reproductive health and iron plays important role in chlamydial pathogenesis. Iron homeostasis in chlamydia-infected cells is not clear thus far. This study shows that expression of the transferrin receptor (TfR) is downregulated, whereas expression of the ferritin heavy chain is upregulated in CT-infected HeLa-229 cells. Expression of iron-regulatory protein (IRP)-1 predominates over IRP-2 in infected cells. In infected cells, attenuated binding activity of IRP-iron responsive elements (IREs) is observed using the electrophoretic mobility-shift assay. These results suggest that iron homeostasis is modulated in CT-infected HeLa cells at the interface of acquisition and commensal use of iron.

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