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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 Feb;23:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2014.09.019. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Making connections: snapshots of chlamydial type III secretion systems in contact with host membranes.

Author information

1
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London & Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK.
2
Crystallography, Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK.
3
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London & Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK. Electronic address: richard.hayward@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens with an unusual biphasic lifecycle, which is underpinned by two bacterial forms of distinct structure and function. Bacterial entry and replication require a type III secretion system (T3SS), a widely conserved nanomachine responsible for the translocation of virulence effectors into host cells. Recent cell biology experiments supported by electron and cryo-electron tomography have provided fresh insights into Chlamydia-host interactions. In this review, we highlight some of the recent advances, particularly the in situ analysis of T3SSs in contact with host membranes during chlamydial entry and intracellular replication, and the role of the host rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) at the recently described intracellular 'pathogen synapse'.

PMID:
25461566
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2014.09.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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