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Toxins 2014, 6(8), 2432-2434;

Increased Extracellular ATP: An Omen of Bacterial RTX Toxin-Induced Hemolysis?

The East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
The Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
The Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 6 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Note: In lieu of an abstract, this is an excerpt from the first page.


Bacterial infection is a major threat to human health. Although pathogenic bacteria vary in their virulence, it has been recognized that many pathogenic bacteria share common mechanisms when attacking host cells and tissues. Some pathogenic bacteria synthesize and secrete polysaccharides to form an extracellular capsule. Capsules serve as virulence determinants by multiple mechanisms including facilitation of bacterial adherence, evasion of the immune response, and antibiotic resistance [1]. Moreover, to the exterior of bacterial plasma membranes are certain toxic components (e.g., lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in Gram-negative bacteria, and peptidoglycan fragments and teichoic acids in Gram-positive bacteria) that play key roles in causing bacterial septic shock or multiple organ dysfunction [2]. Significantly, bacteria may secrete proteinaceous or non-proteinaceous molecules, namely exotoxins, capable of directly destroying host cells. The Repeat-in-Toxin (RTX) family is a group of virulence-associated exotoxins that are generated by Gram-negative bacteria and are noted for their ability to form pores on the membrane of host cells including leukocytes [3]. Despite the intense effort that has been input into investigating the interaction between RTX toxins and host cells during bacterial infection, our understanding of how RTX toxins insert into host cell membranes, and in turn, how host cells respond to the challenge of these toxins remains very limited. [...] View Full-Text
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wang, Y.; Wang, S. Increased Extracellular ATP: An Omen of Bacterial RTX Toxin-Induced Hemolysis? Toxins 2014, 6, 2432-2434.

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