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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Interaction of Cholesterol with Perfringolysin O: What Have We Learned from Functional Analysis?

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexey S. Ladokhin
Toxins 2017, 9(12), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins9120381
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Entry of Binary and Pore-Forming Bacterial Toxins)
Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) constitute a family of pore-forming toxins secreted by Gram-positive bacteria. These toxins form transmembrane pores by inserting a large β-barrel into cholesterol-containing membranes. Cholesterol is absolutely required for pore-formation. For most CDCs, binding to cholesterol triggers conformational changes that lead to oligomerization and end in pore-formation. Perfringolysin O (PFO), secreted by Clostridium perfringens, is the prototype for the CDCs. The molecular mechanisms by which cholesterol regulates the cytolytic activity of the CDCs are not fully understood. In particular, the location of the binding site for cholesterol has remained elusive. We have summarized here the current body of knowledge on the CDCs-cholesterol interaction, with focus on PFO. We have employed sterols in aqueous solution to identify structural elements in the cholesterol molecule that are critical for its interaction with PFO. In the absence of high-resolution structural information, site-directed mutagenesis data combined with binding studies performed with different sterols, and molecular modeling are beginning to shed light on this interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: cholesterol-dependent cytolysins; Perfringolysin O; cholesterol; cholesterol-binding cholesterol-dependent cytolysins; Perfringolysin O; cholesterol; cholesterol-binding
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Savinov, S.N.; Heuck, A.P. Interaction of Cholesterol with Perfringolysin O: What Have We Learned from Functional Analysis? Toxins 2017, 9, 381.

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