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Can J Microbiol. 1992 Nov;38(11):1175-80.

The thermostable direct hemolysin of Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a pore-forming toxin.

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Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Japan.


The hemolytic mechanism of thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), a possible virulence factor of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, was studied. We demonstrated that TDH acts as a "pore-forming toxin" in temperature-dependent and -independent steps. The first temperature-dependent step requires only about 1-2 min incubation at 37 degrees C and makes a "pore" with a functional diameter of approximately 2 nm. The pore size was deduced from the molecular diameter of the colloidal inhibitory polysaccharides. The formation of the pores on TDH-treated erythrocyte membranes was also demonstrated by electron microscopic examination. The second step, which is a temperature-independent lytic step, causes the erythrocytes to swell owing to a colloidal osmotic influx of water via the "pores" into cells, resulting in erythrocyte lysis (or rupture) owing to increased intracellular pressure.

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