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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 362104, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/362104
Research Article

Evolution and Conservation of Predicted Inclusion Membrane Proteins in Chlamydiae

1Host-Parasite Interactions Section, Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA
2Research Technologies Branch, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA

Received 21 September 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: Shen Liang Chen

Copyright © 2012 Erika I. Lutter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular pathogens that replicate within a vacuole termed the inclusion. Chlamydiae extensively modify the inclusion membrane via the insertion of chlamydial inclusion membrane proteins (Incs) which decorate the cytosolic face of the inclusion. We have assessed the overall relatedness and phylogeny of Incs in order to identify potential evolutionary trends. Despite a high degree of conservation among Incs within C. trachomatis serovars, phylogenetic analysis showed that some Incs cluster according to clinical groupings suggesting that certain Incs may contribute to tissue tropism. Bioinformatic predictions identified Incs in five chlamydial species: 55 in C. trachomatis, 68 in C. felis, 92 in C. pneumoniae, 79 in C. caviae, and 54 in C. muridarum. Inc homologues were compared between chlamydial species and 23 core Incs were identified as shared among all species. Genomic expansion of Incs was identified in C. pneumoniae, C. caviae, and C. felis but not C. trachomatis or C. muridarum.