Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Virulence Factor Mpt64 Targets the Endoplasmic Reticulum




Stamm, Chelsea Elizabeth

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, is one of the most successful human pathogens. One reason for its success is that M. tuberculosis can reside within host macrophages, a cell type that normally functions to phagocytose and destroy infectious bacteria. However, M. tuberculosis is able to evade macrophage defenses in order to survive for prolonged periods of time. Many intracellular pathogens secret virulence factors targeting host membranes and organelles to remodel their intracellular environmental niche. I hypothesized that M. tuberculosis secreted proteins that target host membranes are vital for M. tuberculosis to adapt to and manipulate the host environment for survival. Thus, I characterized nearly 200 secreted proteins from M. tuberculosis for their ability to associate with eukaryotic membranes using a live-dead, temperature sensitive yeast screen and to manipulate host trafficking pathways using a modified inducible secretion screen. I identified five M. tuberculosis secreted proteins that both associated with eukaryotic membranes and altered the host secretory pathway. One of these secreted proteins, Mpt64, localized to the endoplasmic reticulum during M. tuberculosis infection of murine and human macrophages and impaired the unfolded protein response in macrophages. These data highlight the importance of secreted proteins in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis and provide a basis for further investigation into their molecular mechanisms.

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