1887

Abstract

is a facultative intracellular bacterium capable of surviving inside macrophages. The VirB complex, which is highly similar to conjugative DNA transfer apparatuses, is required for intracellular replication. A conserved NTP-binding domain in VirB4 suggests that one or both proteins couple energy by NTP hydrolysis to transport of putative effector molecule(s). Here it is shown that a mutant strain of that contains an in-frame deletion in is unable to replicate in macrophages and survives in mice. Intracellular replication and virulence in mice are fully restored by expressing , indicating that VirB4 is essential for intracellular replication and virulence in mice. An alteration within the NTP-binding region of VirB4 by site-directed mutagenesis abolished complementation of a mutant, demonstrating that an intact NTP-binding domain is critical for VirB4 function. Intracellular replication was inhibited in wild-type after introducing a plasmid expressing a mutant VirB4 altered in the NTP-binding region. The dominant negative phenotype suggests that VirB4 either functions as a multimer or interacts with some other component(s) necessary for intracellular replication. Wild-type -containing phagosomes lack the glycoprotein LAMP-1, which is an indicator of the normal endocytic pathway. Mutant strains were found in phagosomes that co-localized with LAMP-1, indicating that VirB4 containing the intact NTP-binding region is essential for evasion of fusion with lysosomes.

Keyword(s): macrophage and type IV secretion
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2002-05-01
2020-07-05
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