Golgi-dependent transport of cholesterol to the Chlamydia trachomatis inclusion

Reynaldo A. Carabeo, David J. Mead, Ted Hackstadt

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213 Scopus citations


Cholesterol, a lipid not normally found in prokaryotes, was identified in purified Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies and in the chlamydial parasitophorous vacuole (inclusion) membrane of infected HeLa cells. Chlamydiae obtained eukaryotic host cell cholesterol both from de novo synthesis or low-density lipoprotein. Acquisition of either de novo-synthesized cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein-derived cholesterol was microtubule-dependent and brefeldin A-sensitive, indicating a requirement for the Golgi apparatus. Transport also required chlamydial protein synthesis, indicative of a pathogen-directed process. The cholesterol trafficking pathway appears to coincide with a previously characterized delivery of sphingomyelin to the inclusion in that similar pharmacological treatments inhibited transport of both sphingomyelin and cholesterol. These results support the hypothesis that sphingomyelin and cholesterol may be cotransported via a Golgi-dependent pathway and that the chlamydial inclusion receives cholesterol preferentially from a brefeldin A-sensitive pathway of cholesterol trafficking from the Golgi apparatus to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6771-6776
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 27 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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