Life inside and out: making and breaking protein disulfide bonds in Chlamydia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 2019, 45 (1), pp. 33 - 50
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Disulphide bonds are widely used among all domains of life to provide structural stability to proteins and to regulate enzyme activity. Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular bacteria that are especially dependent on the formation and degradation of protein disulphide bonds. Members of the genus Chlamydia have a unique biphasic developmental cycle alternating between two distinct cell types; the extracellular infectious elementary body (EB) and the intracellular replicating reticulate body. The proteins in the envelope of the EB are heavily cross-linked with disulphides and this is known to be critical for this infectious phase. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the redox state of chlamydial envelope proteins throughout the developmental cycle. We focus especially on the factors responsible for degradation and formation of disulphide bonds in Chlamydia and how this system compares with redox regulation in other organisms. Focussing on the unique biology of Chlamydia enables us to provide important insights into how specialized suites of disulphide bond (Dsb) proteins cater for specific bacterial environments and lifecycles.
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