Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004 Aug;11(8):697-705. Epub 2004 Jul 4.

Membrane-dependent conformational changes initiate cholesterol-dependent cytolysin oligomerization and intersubunit beta-strand alignment.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins are bacterial protein toxins that bind to cholesterol-containing membranes, form oligomeric complexes and insert into the bilayer to create large aqueous pores. Membrane-dependent structural rearrangements required to initiate the oligomerization of perfringolysin O monomers have been identified, as have the monomer-monomer interaction surfaces, using site-specific mutagenesis, disulfide trapping and multiple fluorescence techniques. Upon binding to the membrane, a structural element in perfringolysin O moves to expose the edge of a previously hidden beta-strand that forms the monomer-monomer interface and is required for oligomer assembly. The beta-strands that form the interface each contain a single aromatic residue, and these aromatics appear to stack, thereby aligning the transmembrane beta-hairpins of adjacent monomers in the proper register for insertion. Collectively, these data reveal a novel membrane binding-dependent mechanism for regulating cytolysin monomer-monomer association and pore formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center