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Trends Microbiol. 2006 Dec;14(12):527-35. Epub 2006 Oct 16.

Chlamydiae-specific proteins and indels: novel tools for studies.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton L8N 3Z5, Ontario, Canada.


Chlamydiae species are important human and animal pathogens. Their obligate intracellular mode of replication has precluded the use of genetic and molecular biological approaches for understanding their biology. Comparative genomics have identified many rare genetic changes consisting of whole proteins and conserved indels (i.e. inserts or deletions) in widely distributed proteins that are distinctive characteristics of either all, or various subgroups within, chlamydiae. Additionally, several interesting cases of the lateral transfer of genes from free-living bacteria to a common ancestor of chlamydiae, and from chlamydiae to Trypanosoma/Leishmania, have been identified. These novel signatures have possible applications for advancing our understanding of the chlamydiae.

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