Pathogenic microorganisms produce various virulence factors, e.g., enzymes, cytotoxins, effectors, which trigger development of pathologies in infectious diseases. Cholera toxin (CT) produced by O1 and O139 serotypes of Vibrio cholerae
) is a major cytotoxin causing severe diarrhea. Cholix cytotoxin (Cholix) was identified as a novel eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) adenosine-diphosphate (ADP)-ribosyltransferase produced mainly in non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae
. The function and role of Cholix in infectious disease caused by V. cholerae
remain unknown. The crystal structure of Cholix is similar to Pseudomonas
exotoxin A (PEA) which is composed of an N-terminal receptor-recognition domain and a C-terminal ADP-ribosyltransferase domain. The endocytosed Cholix catalyzes ADP-ribosylation of eEF2 in host cells and inhibits protein synthesis, resulting in cell death. In a mouse model, Cholix caused lethality with severe liver damage. In this review, we describe the mechanism underlying Cholix-induced cytotoxicity. Cholix-induced apoptosis was regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathways, which dramatically enhanced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production in human liver, as well as the amount of epithelial-like HepG2 cancer cells. In contrast, Cholix induced apoptosis in hepatocytes through a mitochondrial-dependent pathway, which was not stimulated by TNF-α. These findings suggest that sensitivity to Cholix depends on the target cell. A substantial amount of information on PEA is provided in order to compare/contrast this well-characterized mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase (mART) with Cholix.
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