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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006 May;13(5):460-1. Epub 2006 Apr 16.

Carbohydrate recognition by Clostridium difficile toxin A.

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  • 1Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Carbohydrate Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada T2N 1N4.


Clostridium difficile TcdA is a large toxin that binds carbohydrates on intestinal epithelial cells. A 2-A resolution cocrystal structure reveals two molecules of alpha-Gal-(1,3)-beta-Gal-(1,4)-beta-GlcNAcO(CH(2))(8)CO(2)CH(3) binding in an extended conformation to TcdA. Residues forming key contacts with the trisaccharides are conserved in all seven putative binding sites in TcdA, suggesting a mode of multivalent binding that may be exploited for the rational design of novel therapeutics.

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