ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Infection and Immunity

ISSN

0019-9567

Volume

70

Issue

1

DOI

10.1128/IAI.70.1.55-61.2002

First Page

55

Last Page

61

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Abstract

Infection with an obligate intracellular bacterium, the Chlamydia trachomatis lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV/L2) strain or the guinea pig inclusion conjunctivitis serovar of Chlamydia psittaci, leads to apoptosis of host cells. The apoptosis is not affected by a broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, and caspase-3 is not activated in infected cells, suggesting that apoptosis mediated by these two strains of Chlamydia is independent of known caspases. Overexpression of the proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, Bax, was previously shown to induce caspase-independent apoptosis, and we find that Bax is activated and translocates from the cytosol to the mitochondria in C. psittaci-infected cells. C. psittaci-induced apoptosis is inhibited in host cells overexpressing Bax inhibitor-1 and is inhibited through overexpression of Bcl-2, which blocks both caspase-dependent and -independent apoptosis. As Bax and mitochondria are ideally located to sense stress-related metabolic changes emanating from the interior of an infected cell, it is likely that Bax-dependent apoptosis may also be observed in cells infected with other intracellular pathogens.

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