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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 17;103(42):15599-604. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Chlamydial TARP is a bacterial nucleator of actin.

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Host-Parasite Interactions Section, Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA.


Chlamydia trachomatis entry into host cells results from a parasite-directed remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. A type III secreted effector, TARP (translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein), has been implicated in the recruitment of actin to the site of internalization. To elucidate the role of TARP in actin recruitment, we identified host cell proteins that associated with recombinant GST-TARP fusions. TARP directly associated with actin, and this interaction promoted actin nucleation as determined by in vitro polymerization assays. Domain analysis of TARP identified an actin-binding domain that bears structural and primary amino acid sequence similarity to WH2 domain family proteins. In addition, a proline-rich domain was found to promote TARP oligomerization and was required for TARP-dependent nucleation of new actin filaments. Our findings reveal a mechanism by which chlamydiae induce localized cytoskeletal changes by the translocated effector TARP during entry into host cells.

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