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Toxicon. 2001 Nov;39(11):1747-55.

Toxins of Bacillus anthracis.

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Unité des Toxines et Pathogénie Bactériennes (URA CNRS 2172), Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75725 15, Paris Cedex, France.


Bacillus anthracis, a gram positive bacterium, is the causative agent of anthrax. This organism is capsulogen and toxinogenic. It secretes two toxins which are composed of three proteins: the protective antigen (PA), the lethal factor (LF) and the edema factor (EF). The lethal toxin (PA+LF) provokes a subit death in animals, the edema toxin (PA+EF) induces edema. The edema and the lethal factors are internalised into the eukaryotic target cells via the protective antigen. EF and LF exert a calmoduline dependent adenylate cyclase and a metalloprotease activity respectively. Progress in the structure-function relationship of these three proteins, their regulation mechanisms and their roles in pathogenesis and immunoprotection will be exposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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