Bacterial type III secretion system (T3SS) chaperones pilot substrates to the export apparatus in a secretion-competent state, and are consequently central to the translocation of effectors into target cells. Chlamydia trachomatis is a genetically intractable obligate intracellular pathogen that utilizes T3SS effectors to trigger its entry into mammalian cells. The only well-characterized T3SS effector is TARP (translocated actin recruitment protein), but its chaperone is unknown. Here we exploited a known structural signature to screen for putative type III secretion chaperones encoded within the C. trachomatis genome. Using bacterial two-hybrid, co-precipitation, cross-linking and size exclusion chromatography we show that Slc1 (SycE-like chaperone 1; CT043) specifically interacts with a 200-amino-acid residue N-terminal region of TARP (TARP 1-200). Slc1 formed homodimers in vitro, as shown in cross-linking and gel filtration experiments. Biochemical analysis of an isolated Slc1-TARP 1-200 complex was consistent with a characteristic 2:1 chaperone-effector stoichiometry. Furthermore, Slc1 was co-immunoprecipitated with TARP from C. trachomatis elementary bodies. Also, coexpression of Slc1 specifically enhanced host cell translocation of TARP by a heterologous Yersinia enterocolitica T3SS. Taken together, we propose Slc1 as a chaperone of the C. trachomatis T3SS effector TARP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology