Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 13;102(37):13278-83. Epub 2005 Sep 1.

Receptor-specific requirements for anthrax toxin delivery into cells.

Author information

  • 1Infectious Disease Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The three proteins that constitute anthrax toxin self-assemble into toxic complexes after one of these proteins, protective antigen (PA), binds to tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) or capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) cellular receptors. The toxin receptor complexes are internalized, and acidic endosomal pH triggers pore formation by PA and translocation of the catalytic subunits into the cytosol. In this study we show that the pH threshold for conversion of the PA prepore to the pore and for translocation differs by approximately a pH unit, depending on whether the TEM8 or CMG2 receptor is used. For TEM8-associated toxin, these events can occur at close to neutral pH values, and they show relatively low sensitivity to ammonium chloride treatment in cells. In contrast, with CMG2-associated toxin, these events require more acidic conditions and are highly sensitive to ammonium chloride. We show, furthermore, that PA dissociates from TEM8 and CMG2 upon pore formation. Our results are consistent with a model in which translocation depends on pore formation and pore formation, in turn, depends on release of PA from its receptor. We propose that because PA binds to CMG2 with much higher affinity than it does to TEM8, a lower pH is needed to attenuate CMG2 binding to allow pore formation. Our results suggest that toxin can form pores at different points in the endocytic pathway, depending on which receptor is used for entry.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk