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Mol Cell Biochem. 1992 Sep 22;115(1):63-70.

Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin preferentially interacts with blood group A-active glycolipids from pig intestinal mucosa and A- and B-active glycolipids from human red cells compared to H-active glycolipids.

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Departamento de Quimica Biologica, Facultad de Ciencias Quimicas, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Ciquibic-Conicet, Argentina.


The capacity of cholera toxin (CT) and of the heat-labile enterotoxin produced by Escherichia coli isolated from humans (LTh) to interact with glycolipids bearing ABO(H) blood group determinants isolated from different sources and separated by thin layer chromatography was studied. Toxin binding to the ABO(H)-related glycolipids depends on the glycolipid source, the type of the blood group activity, and the toxin. LTh and CT were capable of interacting with several blood group-active glycolipids from pig intestinal mucosa and both toxins preferentially recognize glycolipids isolated from animals carrying A-blood group antigenic determinants compared to those isolated from animals lacking these antigens. In contrast, LTh but not CT was able to interact with ABO(H)-active glycolipids from human erythrocytes. LTh preferentially binds to glycolipids isolated from A, B, and AB compared to O red cells. Results from competition experiments between CT and LTh for binding to the blood group-active glycolipids suggest that the carbohydrate structure requirements for the interaction of each toxin are different. The present findings may help to understand the results of clinical studies indicating an association between ABO(H) blood groups and the severity of diarrheal diseases produced by some toxigenic enterobacteria.

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