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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Feb;13(1):59-66. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.12.008. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis type IV secretion and Ank proteins.

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Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The obligatory intracellular bacterial pathogens Anaplasma and Ehrlichia infect leukocytes by hijacking host-cell components and processes. The type IV secretion system is up-regulated during infection. Among type IV secretion candidate substrates, an ankyrin repeat protein of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, AnkA, is delivered into the host cytoplasm via a complex that includes VirD4. AnkA is highly tyrosine phosphorylated and binds to the Abl interactor 1, SHP-1, and nuclear DNA fragments. Ehrlichia chaffeensis AnkA was recently reported to be translocated into host-cell nucleus. The recent discovery of several ankyrin repeat proteins secreted via the type IV secretion system of different intracellular bacteria suggests that a common strategy evolved to subvert host-cell functions.

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