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Anaerobe. 2004 Dec;10(6):321-33.

Regulation of neurotoxin complex expression in Clostridium botulinum strains 62A, Hall A-hyper, and NCTC 2916.

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  • 1Department of Food Microbiology and Toxicology and Bacteriology, Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, 1925 Willow Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

Abstract

The kinetics of botulinum toxin gene expression have been investigated in Clostridium botulinum type A strains 62A, Hall A-hyper, and type A(B) strain NCTC 2916 during the growth cycle. The analyses were performed in TPGY and type A Toxin Production Media (TPM). The mRNA transcript levels encoding the proteins of the neurotoxin complex were determined using Northern analyses. Neurotoxin concentrations in culture supernatants and lysed cell pellets were assayed using ELISA, Western blots, and mouse bioassay. Proteolytic activation of botulinum neurotoxin during the growth cycle was evaluated by Western blots. For all three strains, mRNA transcripts for the toxin complex genes were initially detected in early log phase, reached peak levels in early stationary phase, and rapidly decreased in mid-to-late stationary phase and during lysis. Toxin expression varied depending on the strain and growth medium. Toxin production was highest in strain Hall A-hyper, followed by NCTC 2916 and 62A. For C. botulinum strain Hall A-hyper, cell lysis and toxin release into the supernatant occurred rapidly for cells grown in TPM, while cells grown in TPGY remained in stationary phase with minimal lysis and toxin release through 96 h of growth. In contrast, strains 62A and NCTC 2916 lysed more extensively than Hall A-hyper in TPGY. TPM supported higher toxin production and activation than TPGY in strains 62A and Hall A-hyper. These data support that the genes of the botulinum neurotoxin complex are temporally expressed during late-log and early stationary phase and that toxin complex formation depends on the strain and growth medium. Botulinum toxin synthesis and activation appears to be a complex process that is highly regulated by nutritional and environmental conditions. Further research is needed to elucidate the sensing mechanisms and genetic regulatory factors controlling these processes.

PMID:
16701534
[PubMed]
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