Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular pathogen that replicates within a parasitophorous vacuole termed an inclusion. The chlamydial inclusion is isolated from the endocytic pathway but fusogenic with Golgi-derived exocytic vesicles containing sphingomyelin and cholesterol. Sphingolipids are incorporated into the chlamydial cell wall and are considered essential for chlamydial development and viability. The mechanisms by which chlamydiae obtain eukaryotic lipids are poorly understood but require chlamydial protein synthesis and presumably modification of the inclusion membrane to initiate this interaction. A polarized cell model of chlamydial infection has demonstrated that chlamydiae preferentially intercept basolaterally directed, sphingomyelin-containing exocytic vesicles. Here we examine the localization and potential function of trans-Golgi and/or basolaterally associated soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins in chlamydia-infected cells. The trans-Golgi SNARE protein syntaxin 6 is recruited to the chlamydial inclusion in a manner that requires chlamydial protein synthesis and is conserved among all chlamydial species examined. The localization of syntaxin 6 to the chlamydial inclusion requires a tyrosine motif or plasma membrane retrieval signal (YGRL). Thus in addition to expression of at least two inclusion membrane proteins that contain SNARE-like motifs, chlamydiae also actively recruit eukaryotic SNARE-family proteins
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