Toxins 2013, 5(4), 618-636; doi:10.3390/toxins5040618
Review

More Than a Pore: The Cellular Response to Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2013; in revised form: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pore-Forming Toxins)
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Abstract: Targeted disruption of the plasma membrane is a ubiquitous form of attack used in all three domains of life. Many bacteria secrete pore-forming proteins during infection with broad implications for pathogenesis. The cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDC) are a family of pore-forming toxins expressed predominately by Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. The structure and assembly of some of these oligomeric toxins on the host membrane have been described, but how the targeted cell responds to intoxication by the CDCs is not as clearly understood. Many CDCs induce lysis of their target cell and can activate apoptotic cascades to promote cell death. However, the extent to which intoxication causes cell death is both CDC- and host cell-dependent, and at lower concentrations of toxin, survival of intoxicated host cells is well documented. Additionally, the effect of CDCs can be seen beyond the plasma membrane, and it is becoming increasingly clear that these toxins are potent regulators of signaling and immunity, beyond their role in intoxication. In this review, we discuss the cellular response to CDC intoxication with emphasis on the effects of pore formation on the host cell plasma membrane and subcellular organelles and whether subsequent cellular responses contribute to the survival of the affected cell.
Keywords: cholesterol-dependent cytolysins; CDC; membrane repair; signaling; pore-formation; survival; cellular response

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cassidy, S.K.B.; O'Riordan, M.X.D. More Than a Pore: The Cellular Response to Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins. Toxins 2013, 5, 618-636.

AMA Style

Cassidy SKB, O'Riordan MXD. More Than a Pore: The Cellular Response to Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins. Toxins. 2013; 5(4):618-636.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cassidy, Sara K.B.; O'Riordan, Mary X.D. 2013. "More Than a Pore: The Cellular Response to Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins." Toxins 5, no. 4: 618-636.

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