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This article is the author's final published version in Microbiology Spectrum, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2023, Article number e02614-22.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 Haines et al.


Chlamydia trachomatis is the leading cause of sexually transmitted bacterial disease and a global health burden. As an obligate intracellular pathogen, Chlamydia has evolved many strategies to manipulate its host and establish its intracellular niche called the inclusion. C. trachomatis reorganizes the host actin cytoskeleton to form scaffolds around the inclusion and reinforce the growing inclusion membrane. To control the kinetics and formation of actin scaffolds, Chlamydia expresses the effector InaC/CT813, which activates the host GTPase RhoA. Here, we have discovered that InaC stabilizes actin scaffolds through the host actin cross-linking proteins α-actinins 1 and 4. We demonstrate that α-actinins are recruited to the inclusion membrane in an InaC-dependent manner and associate with actin scaffolds that envelop the inclusion. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of α-actinins differentially regulate the frequency of actin scaffolds and impair inclusion stability, leaving them susceptible to rupture and to nonionic detergent extraction. Overall, our data identify new host effectors that are subverted by InaC to stabilize actin scaffolds, highlighting the versatility of InaC as a key regulator of the host cytoskeletal network during Chlamydia infection.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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