Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Microbiol. 2002 Sep;45(6):1589-98.

Mechanism of association of adenylate cyclase toxin with the surface of Bordetella pertussis: a role for toxin-filamentous haemagglutinin interaction.

Author information

University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Adenylate cyclase (AC) toxin from Bordetella pertussis is unusual in that, unlike most other members of the repeats-in-toxin family that are released into the extracellular milieu, it remains associated with the bacterial surface. In this study, we investigated the nature of the association of this toxin with the surface of B. pertussis. AC toxin was extracted from crude outer membrane preparations of B. pertussis with 8 M urea, but only partially with alkaline sodium carbonate and not at all with octylglucoside, suggesting that denaturation of the toxin is necessary for its removal from the membrane. B. pertussis mutants lacking filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) released significantly more AC toxin into the medium, and AC toxin association with the bacterial surface was partially restored by expression of FHA from a plasmid, suggesting a role for FHA in surface retention of AC toxin. AC toxin distribution was unaffected by the absence of pertactin, or full-length lipopolysaccharide, or a defect in secretion of pertussis toxin. Using overlay and immunoprecipitation, we found that a direct physical association can occur between AC toxin and FHA. Combined, these findings suggest that FHA may play a role in AC toxin retention on the surface of B. pertussis and raise the possibility of an involvement of adherence mediated by FHA in delivery of AC toxin from the bacterium to the target cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center