Main Menu (Mobile)- Block
Main Menu - Block
The human pathogen targets epithelial cells lining the genital mucosa. We observed that infection of various cell types, including fibroblasts and epithelial cells resulted in the formation of unusually stable and mature focal adhesions that resisted disassembly induced by the myosin II inhibitor, blebbistatin. Super-resolution microscopy revealed in infected cells the vertical displacement of paxillin and FAK from the signaling layer of focal adhesions; while vinculin remained in its normal position within the force transduction layer. The candidate type III effector TarP which localized to focal adhesions during infection and when expressed ectopically, was sufficient to mimic both the reorganization and blebbistatin-resistant phenotypes. These effects of TarP, including its localization to focal adhesions, required a post-invasion interaction with the host protein vinculin through a specific domain at the C-terminus of TarP. This interaction is repurposed from an actin-recruiting and -remodeling complex to one that mediates nano-architectural and dynamic changes of focal adhesions. The consequence of -stabilized focal adhesions was restricted cell motility and enhanced attachment to the extracellular matrix. Thus, via a novel mechanism, inserts TarP within focal adhesions to alter their organization and stability.