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Toxins 2012, 4(11), 1343-1366; doi:10.3390/toxins4111343

PI3K/Akt/mTOR, a Pathway Less Recognized for Staphylococcal Superantigen-Induced Toxicity

Department of Immunology, Integrated Toxicology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 13 November 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
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Immunostimulating staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and related superantigenic toxins cause diseases in humans and laboratory animals by activating cells of the immune system. These toxins bind directly to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules on antigen-presenting cells and specific Vβ regions of T-cell receptors (TCR), resulting in hyperactivation of both T lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages. Activated host cells produce excessive amounts of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, especially tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-2, interferon γ (IFNγ), and macrophage chemoattractant protein 1 causing clinical symptoms of fever, hypotension, and shock. The well-explored signal transduction pathways for SEB-induced toxicity downstream from TCR/MHC ligation and interaction of cell surface co-stimulatory molecules include the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades and cytokine receptor signaling, culminating in NFκB activation. Independently, IL-2, IFNγ, and chemokines from activated T cells signal via the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), the serine/threonine kinases, Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways. This article reviews the signaling molecules induced by superantigens in the activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways leading to staphylococcal superantigen-induced toxicity and updates potential therapeutics against superantigens.
Keywords: staphylococcal superantigens; inflammatory cytokines; signaling pathways; PI3K; Akt; mTOR; therapeutics staphylococcal superantigens; inflammatory cytokines; signaling pathways; PI3K; Akt; mTOR; therapeutics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Krakauer, T. PI3K/Akt/mTOR, a Pathway Less Recognized for Staphylococcal Superantigen-Induced Toxicity. Toxins 2012, 4, 1343-1366.

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