Toxins 2011, 3(6), 660-671; doi:10.3390/toxins3060660
Review

T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin

1 Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy 2 Novartis Vaccines, Via Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2011; in revised form: 3 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 20 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Toxin)
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Abstract: Bacillus anthracis, similar to other bacterial pathogens, has evolved effective immune evasion strategies to prolong its survival in the host, thus ensuring the unchecked spread of the infection. This function is subserved by lethal (LT) and edema (ET) toxins, two exotoxins produced by vegetative anthrax bacilli following germination of the spores. The structure of these toxins and the mechanism of cell intoxication are topics covered by other reviews in this issue. Here we shall discuss how B. anthracis uses LT and ET to suppress the immune defenses of the host, focusing on T lymphocytes, the key players in adaptive immunity. We shall also summarize recent findings showing that, depending on its concentration, ET has the ability not only to suppress T cell activation but also to promote the polarization of CD4+ T cells to the Th2 and Th17 subsets, highlighting the potential use of this toxin as an immunomodulator.
Keywords: lethal toxin; edema toxin; T cell; Th subset; TCR signaling; cAMP; MAP kinases; immunosuppression; immunodeviating

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi Paccani, S.; Baldari, C.T. T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin. Toxins 2011, 3, 660-671.

AMA Style

Rossi Paccani S, Baldari CT. T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin. Toxins. 2011; 3(6):660-671.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rossi Paccani, Silvia; Baldari, Cosima T. 2011. "T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin." Toxins 3, no. 6: 660-671.

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