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Toxins 2011, 3(3), 294-308; doi:10.3390/toxins3030294

Mechanism of Diphtheria Toxin Catalytic Domain Delivery to the Eukaryotic Cell Cytosol and the Cellular Factors that Directly Participate in the Process

Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
Received: 27 January 2011 / Revised: 3 March 2011 / Accepted: 10 March 2011 / Published: 21 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Microbiology of Bacterial Toxins)
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Research on diphtheria and anthrax toxins over the past three decades has culminated in a detailed understanding of their structure function relationships (e.g., catalytic (C), transmembrane (T), and receptor binding (R) domains), as well as the identification of their eukaryotic cell surface receptor, an understanding of the molecular events leading to the receptor-mediated internalization of the toxin into an endosomal compartment, and the pH triggered conformational changes required for pore formation in the vesicle membrane. Recently, a major research effort has been focused on the development of a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions between each of these toxins and eukaryotic cell factors that play an essential role in the efficient translocation of their respective catalytic domains through the trans-endosomal vesicle membrane pore and delivery into the cell cytosol. In this review, I shall focus on recent findings that have led to a more detailed understanding of the mechanism by which the diphtheria toxin catalytic domain is delivered to the eukaryotic cell cytosol. While much work remains, it is becoming increasingly clear that the entry process is facilitated by specific interactions with a number of cellular factors in an ordered sequential fashion. In addition,since diphtheria, anthrax lethal factor and anthrax edema factor all carry multiple coatomer I complex binding motifs and COPI complex has been shown to play an essential role in entry process, it is likely that the initial steps in catalytic domain entry of these divergent toxins follow a common mechanism. View Full-Text
Keywords: diphtheria toxin; catalytic domain entry; coatomer complex I diphtheria toxin; catalytic domain entry; coatomer complex I

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Murphy, J.R. Mechanism of Diphtheria Toxin Catalytic Domain Delivery to the Eukaryotic Cell Cytosol and the Cellular Factors that Directly Participate in the Process. Toxins 2011, 3, 294-308.

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