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Toxins 2010, 2(5), 963-977; doi:10.3390/toxins2050963
Review

Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

Received: 31 March 2010 / Revised: 28 April 2010 / Accepted: 5 May 2010 / Published: 6 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
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Abstract

Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.
Keywords: cysteine protease domain (CPD); MARTX toxin; glucosylating toxin (GT); inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6); glucosyltransferase (Glc); structure activity relationship (SAR) cysteine protease domain (CPD); MARTX toxin; glucosylating toxin (GT); inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6); glucosyltransferase (Glc); structure activity relationship (SAR)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Shen, A. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins. Toxins 2010, 2, 963-977.

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