Soup Kettle Topics: Chlamydia

Title: Glucose Metabolism in Chlamydia Trachomatis: The ‘Energy Parasite’ Hypothesis Revisited
Author: Iliffe-Lee, E. R.; McClarty, G.; (Date: Jul, 1999)
Journal: Mol Microbiol; V. 33; Issue: 1; Pages: 177-87

Abstract: Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular eubacteria that is dependent on a eukaryotic host cell for a variety of metabolites. For years, it has been speculated that chlamydiae are energy parasites, totally dependent on their host cell for ATP and other high-energy intermediates. To determine whether C. trachomatis contains functional enzymes that produce energy or reducing power, four enzymes involved in glycolysis or the pentose phosphate pathway, specifically pyruvate kinase, phosphoglycerate kinase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, were cloned, sequenced and expressed as recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli. The deduced amino acid sequences obtained show high homology to other pyruvate kinase, phosphoglycerate kinase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzymes. In contrast to numerous other bacterial species, chlamydial glycolytic genes are not arranged in an operon, but are dispersed throughout the genome. Results from reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis indicate that all four genes are maximally expressed in the middle of the chlamydial developmental cycle. The chlamydial genes are capable of complementing mutant E. coli strains lacking the respective enzyme activities. In vitro enzyme analysis indicates that recombinant chlamydial enzymes expressed in E. coli are active and, interestingly, recombinant chlamydial pyruvate kinase is not regulated allosterically by fructose 1,6 bisphosphate or AMP, as found with other bacterial pyruvate kinases. In summary, identification and characterization of these glucose-catabolizing enzymes indicate that chlamydia contains the functional capacity to produce its own ATP and reducing power.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, 730 William Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 0W3.


Title: Enhancement of Atp Levels and Glucose Metabolism During an Infection by Chlamydia. Nmr Studies of Living Cells
Author: Ojcius, D. M.; Degani, H.; Mispelter, J.; Dautry-Varsat, A.; (Date: Mar 20, 1998)
Journal: J Biol Chem; V. 273; Issue: 12; Pages: 7052-8

Abstract: The Chlamydia species are obligate intracellular bacteria that proliferate only within the infected cell. Since the extracellular bacteria are metabolically inert and there are no cell-free systems for characterizing Chlamydia metabolism, we studied metabolic changes related to ATP synthesis and glycolysis in HeLa cells infected with Chlamydia psittaci during the course of the 2-day infection cycle using noninvasive 31P and 13C NMR methods. We find that the infection stimulates ATP synthesis in the infected cell, with a peak of ATP levels occurring midway through the infection cycle, when most of the metabolically active bacteria are proliferating. The infection also stimulates synthesis of glutamate with a similar time course as for ATP. The stimulation is apparently due to an enhancement in glucose consumption by the infected cell, which also results in an increased rate of lactate production and glutamate synthesis as well as higher glycogen accumulation during the infection. Concurrently, infection leads to an increase in the expression of the glucose transporter, GLUT-1, on HeLa cells, which may account for the enhanced glucose consumption. The chlamydiae are thus able to stimulate glucose transport in the host cell sufficiently to compensate for the extra energy load on the cell represented by the infection.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Unite de Biologie des Interactions Cellulaires, CNRS 1960, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. ojcius@pasteur.fr

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