• centrosome;
  • Chlamydia;
  • cytoskeleton;
  • micro- tubules

Chlamydiae traffic along microtubules to the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) to establish an intracellular niche within the host cell. Trafficking to the MTOC is dynein dependent although the activating and cargo-linking function of the dynactin complex is supplanted by unknown chlamydial protein(s). We demonstrate that once localized to the MTOC, the chlamydial inclusion maintains a tight association with cellular centrosomes. This association is sustained through mitosis and leads to a significant increase in supernumerary centrosomes, abnormal spindle poles, and chromosomal segregation defects. Chlamydial infection thus can lead to chromosome instability in cells that recover from infection.