Effector protein modulation of host cells: examples in the Chlamydia spp. arsenal

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71 Scopus citations


As obligate intracellular parasites, Chlamydia spp. must create and maintain a specialized intracellular niche while simultaneously contending with potent host defenses. Discoveries that chlamydiae deploy an array of anti-host proteins have placed new emphasis on deciphering the impact of host cell biology on chlamydial development and virulence. Recent advances in the understanding of chlamydial pathogenesis are exemplified by work describing potential roles of (i) chlamydial Tarp in invasion, (ii) Inc proteins in modulation of vesicular interactions, and (iii) chlamydial proteins in disregulation of NF-κB signal transduction. Characterization of these chlamydial effector proteins promises to answer old questions and reveals previously unappreciated biology. The challenge will be to determine how these molecular mechanisms mesh together and collectively contribute to Chlamydia-mediated disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank S Hower and Dr G Plano for the critical reading of the manuscript. Owing to space constraints we excluded discussion of many interesting effector proteins and apologize to those investigators. Work in the Fields lab is supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (AI072126 and AI065530).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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