CD8+ T cells recognize an inclusion associatecl protein from the pathogen chlamydia trachomatis

Steven P. Fling, R. Alec Sutherland, Lisa N. Steele, Bruce Hess, Sarah E.F. D'Orazio, Jean François Maisonneuve, Mary F. Lampe, Peter Probst, Michael N. Starnbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


During infection with Chlamydia trachomatis, CD8+ T cells are primed, even though the bacteria remain confined to a host cell vacuole throughout their developmental cycle. Because CD8+ T cells recognize antigens processed from cytosolic proteins, the Chlamydia antigens recognized by these CD8+ T cells very likely have access to the host cell cytoplasm during infection. The identity of these C. trachomatis proteins has remained elusive, even though their localization suggests they may play important roles in the biology of the organism. Here we use a retroviral expression system to identify Cap1, a 31-kDa protein from C trachomatis recognized by protective CD8+ T cells. Cap1 contains no strong homology to any known protein. Immunofluorescence microscopy by using Cap1-specific antibody demonstrates that this protein is localized to the vacuolar membrane. Cap1 is virtually identical among the human C. trachomatis serovars, suggesting that a vaccine incorporating Cap1 might enable the vaccine to protect against all C. trachomatis serovars. The identification of proteins such as Cap1 that associate with the inclusion membrane will be required to fully understand the interaction of C. trachomatis with its host cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1165
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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