Chlamydia psittaci inclusion membrane protein IncB associates with host protein Snapin.
Chlamydia (C.) psittaci, the causative agent of psittacosis in birds and humans, is the most important zoonotic pathogen of the family Chlamydiaceae. During a unique developmental cycle of this obligate intracellular pathogen, the infectious elementary body gains access to the susceptible host cell, where it transforms into the replicative reticulate body. C. psittaci uses dynein motor proteins for optimal early development. Chlamydial proteins that mediate this process are unknown. Two-hybrid screening with the C. psittaci inclusion protein IncB as bait against a HeLa Yeast Two-hybrid (YTH) library revealed that the host protein Snapin interacts with IncB. Snapin is a cytoplasmic protein that plays a multivalent role in intracellular trafficking. Confocal fluorescence microscopy using an IncB-specific antibody demonstrated that IncB, Snapin, and dynein were co-localized near the inclusion of C. psittaci-infected HEp-2 cells. This co-localization was lost when Snapin was depleted by RNAi. The interaction of Snapin with both IncB and dynein has been shown in vitro and in vivo. We propose that Snapin connects chlamydial inclusions with the microtubule network by interacting with both IncB and dynein.