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Chapter 3 : Developmental Biology

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Abstract:

This chapter summarizes what is known about the structural and biochemical differences between elementary body (EB) and reticulate body (RB) and the mechanisms by which genes are regulated during the developmental cycle. The EB is adapted for extracellular survival, which for some strains of and may extend to prolonged exposure outside of the host organism. This chapter discusses stage-specific structures and biochemical events. Several homologs of proteins that regulate alternative sigma factor activities in bacteria (AtoS, RsbW, two RsbV orthologs, and RsbU) are encoded by the chlamydial genome. Mathews and Sriprakash were the first to carry out mutational analysis of a chlamydial promoter. The gene analyzed encodes two short transcripts with the same 5' end but different 3' ends; the transcripts generated are antisense to a predicted integrase gene encoded by the plasmid of . One of the most interesting observations was that deletion of the N-terminal and C-terminal extension sequences of σ ablated transcription from P2, relating structural differences between σ and σ to differences in promoter recognition for the first time. The purpose of the multiple transcripts from genes/operons remains a mystery, and further investigation may show that multiple transcripts are the exception rather than the rule. The complete sequencing of the chlamydial genome will provide signposts for research in the future and will reduce much of the arduous gene sequencing that was so much a part of chlamydial research in the past.

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3

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Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

A 30-hpi inclusion of C. psittaci ( ). IB, intermediate body. Bar, 100 nm.

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Image of Color Plate 1
Color Plate 1

Acridine orange stain of C. psittaci-infecled L cells. Areas with a high RNA to DNA ratio stain red; those with a low RNA to DNA ratio stain yellow to yellow-green. (Left) Intracellular RBs and intermediate forms at 24 hpi. (Right) Intracellular intermediate forms and EBs at 48 hpi.

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Color Plate 2

Model of the envelope of chlamydial EBs, adapted from . The actual shapes of the proteins and the existence of specific interpeptide cross-links have not been established. Several proteins that are believed to be part of the outer membrane (see text) have been omitted. The periplasmic P layer is closely associated with the inner leaflet of the outer membrane, in a manner similar to the hexagonal array reported by and . The N terminus of the larger of the doublet proteins in the P layer may be associated with an integral outer membrane protein, as suggested by the data of and .

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Hexagonal arrays (arrows) seen below the outer membrane of purified EB cell walls, shadowcast with platinum-palladium alloy ( ). Bar, 250 ran.

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Figure 3

Coomassie blue-stained SDS-polyaci'ylamide gel (A) and Western blot (B) of whole C. psittaci Sarkosyl outer membrane complexes (OMC) prepared at 15 (RB) and 48 (EB) hpi. Lines point to POMPs and 60-kDa OmcB doublet proteins found in EBs but not RBs ( ).

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Figure 4

Chlamydia surface projections. (Left) Scanning electron micrograph showing regularly spaced, hemispheric domes (arrowheads) ( ). Bar, 100 nm. (Right) Transmission electron micrograph of envelope complexes revealing spike-like projections which are thought to extend through the inclusion membrane (courtesy of A. Matsumoto, Kawasaki Medical School).

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Figure 5

Putative promoter regions of chlamydial genes. The putative -10 and -35 boxes are underlined and potential transcription start sites that were identified by primer extension or S1 nuclease protection are in boldface and underlined. The -10 regions are diverse but most resemble the E. coli σ70 consensus. Many of the putative -35 regions have flanking AT-rich sequences which may contribute to promoter strength, as suggested by . The 5′ ends of all of the late genes and PCT were determined by . The ends of the plasmid ORFs were determined by . The ends of the other transcripts were determined by the following: ompA P2, ; SI ribosomal protein, ; the ribosomal operon spc, ; rRNA P1, ; groE and dnaK, ; the sulfur-rich protein SRP, ; and tuf P1 and P2, .

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Figure 6

Northern blot showing the stability of ompA transcripts at 24 hpi. Rifampin was added at zero time to infected cells and total RNA was extracted at the times indicated ( ).

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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Figure 7

ompA and rRNA promoters. (A) ompA P2 promoter of C. trachomatis L2. The -35 and -10 boxes are underlined; +1 is in boldface and underlined. (B) Comparison of the P2 promoter regions of five chlamydial strains. CPn, C. pneumoniae AR-39 ( ); CTL2, C. trachomatis L2 ( ); CP6BC, C. psittaci 6BC ( ); CPGPIC, C. psittaci GPIC ( ); CTMo, C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis biovar ( ). Bases conserved among all strains are connected by vertical lines; transcription start sites are in boldface and underlined. (C) rRNA P1 promoter region of C. trachomatis L2. The -35 box and an expanded -10 box are underlined.

Citation: Hatch T. 1999. Developmental Biology, p 29-67. In Stephens R (ed), Chlamydia. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818203.ch3
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