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Exfoliative Toxins of Staphylococcus aureus

1
Department of Analytical Biochemistry, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
2
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2010, 2(5), 1148-1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins2051148
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 12 May 2010 / Accepted: 19 May 2010 / Published: 25 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen of humans and livestock. It causes a diverse array of diseases, ranging from relatively harmless localized skin infections to life-threatening systemic conditions. Among multiple virulence factors, staphylococci secrete several exotoxins directly associated with particular disease symptoms. These include toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins (ETs). The latter are particularly interesting as the sole agents responsible for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS), a disease predominantly affecting infants and characterized by the loss of superficial skin layers, dehydration, and secondary infections. The molecular basis of the clinical symptoms of SSSS is well understood. ETs are serine proteases with high substrate specificity, which selectively recognize and hydrolyze desmosomal proteins in the skin. The fascinating road leading to the discovery of ETs as the agents responsible for SSSS and the characterization of the molecular mechanism of their action, including recent advances in the field, are reviewed in this article. View Full-Text
Keywords: exfoliative toxin; epidermolytic toxin; Staphylococcus aureus; staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome; bullous impetigo exfoliative toxin; epidermolytic toxin; Staphylococcus aureus; staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome; bullous impetigo
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Bukowski, M.; Wladyka, B.; Dubin, G. Exfoliative Toxins of Staphylococcus aureus. Toxins 2010, 2, 1148-1165.

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