Multipart chaperone-effector recognition in the type III secretion system of Chlamydia trachomatis

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© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Secretion of effector proteins into the eukaryotic host cell is required for Chlamydia trachomatis virulence. In the infection process, Scc1 and Scc4, two chaperones of the type III secretion (T3S) system, facilitate secretion of the important effector and plug protein, CopN, but little is known about the details of this event. Here we use biochemistry, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and genetic analyses to characterize this trimolecular event. We find that Scc4 complexes with Scc1 and CopN in situ at the late developmental cycle of C. trachomatis. We show that Scc4 and Scc1 undergo dynamic interactions as part of the unique bacterial developmental cycle. Using alanine substitutions, we identify several amino acid residues in Scc4 that are critical for the Scc4-Scc1 interaction, which is required for forming the Scc4·Scc1·CopN ternary complex. These results, combined with our previous findings that Scc4 plays a role in transcription (Rao, X., Deighan, P., Hua, Z., Hu, X., Wang, J., Luo, M., Wang, J., Liang, Y., Zhong, G., Hochschild, A., and Shen, L. (2009) Genes Dev. 23, 1818-1829), reveal that the T3S process is linked to bacterial transcriptional events, all of which are mediated by Scc4 and its interacting proteins. A model describing how the T3S process may affect gene expression is proposed.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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