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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 May 1;198(2):171-6.

Variant toxin B and a functional toxin A produced by Clostridium difficile C34.

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Verfügungsgebäude für Forschung und Entwicklung, Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany.


A particular property of Clostridium difficile strain C34 is an insertion of approximately 2 kb in the tcdA-C34 gene that does not hinder expression of a fully active TcdA-C34 molecule. Intoxication with TcdA-C34 induced an arborized appearance in eukaryotic cells (D-type cytopathic effect); intoxication with TcdB-C34 induced a spindle-like appearance of cells (S-type cytopathic effect). Inactivation of GTPases with purified toxins revealed that Rho, Rac, Cdc42, and Rap are substrates of TcdA-C34. The variant cytotoxin TcdB-C34 inactivated Rho, Rac, Cdc42, Rap, Ral, and R-Ras. Hence, this is the first 'S-type' cytotoxin which inactivates both Rho and R-Ras, and is coexpressed with a 'D-type' enterotoxin. Our results support the hypothesis that R-Ras is a key GTPase related to the S-type cytopathic effect and suggest that induction of a S-type cytopathic effect dominates induction of the D-type cytopathic effect.

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