Journal Article

<i>In silico</i> Inference of Inclusion Membrane Protein Family in Obligate Intracellular Parasites Chlamydiae

Hidehiro Toh, Koshiro Miura, Mutsunori Shirai and Masahira Hattori

in DNA Research

Published on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute

Volume 10, issue 1, pages 9-17
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1340-2838
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1756-1663 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/dnares/10.1.9

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Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular pathogens that proliferate only inside a vacuole, called an inclusion. Chlamydial Inc proteins are known to be a major component of the inclusion membrane, but little is known about the gene number and function. The Inc proteins share very low sequence similarity but a similar hydropathy profile among them. Using the hydropathy profile, we computationally searched the open reading frames (ORFs) having a similar profile and predicted 90 and 36 ORFs (Inc-like ORFs) as candidates for Inc proteins in Chlamydia pneumoniae J138 and Chlamydia trachomatis serovar D, respectively. On the other hand, only a few Inc-like ORFs were found in organisms other than chlamydiae, suggesting that the Inc-like ORFs are specific to chlamydiae. Comparative genome analysis also revealed that the Inc-like ORFs have multiplied and diverged as paralogues and orthologues in the chlamydial genomes, and that some Inc-like ORFs lacked the N-terminal portion or encoded the split form. The data suggest that these gene products constitute a large protein family and may play an important role in chlamydial infection, growth and survival in the host cell.

Keywords: chlamydiae; pathogen; inclusion membrane protein; hydropathy profile; phase variation

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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