Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Microbiol. 2004;30(3):187-96.

The adenylate cyclase toxins.

Author information

Centre For Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


Cyclic AMP is a ubiquitous messenger that integrates many processes of the cell. Diverse families of adenylate cyclases and phosphodiesterases stringently regulate the intracellular concentration of cAMP. Any alteration in the cytosolic concentration of cAMP has a profound effect on the various processes of the cell. Disruption of these cellular processes in vivo is often the most critical event in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases for animals and humans. Many pathogenic bacteria secrete toxins to alter the intracellular concentration of cAMP. These toxins either disrupt the normal regulation of the host cell's adenylate cyclases/phosphodiesterases or they themselves catalyze the synthesis of cAMP in the host cell. The latter are known as the adenylate cyclase toxins. Four such toxins have been identified: the invasive adenylate cyclase of Bordetella pertussis, the edema factor of Bacillus anthracis, ExoY of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the adenylate cyclase of Yersinia pestis. These adenylate cyclase toxins enter the eukaryotic host cells and get activated by eukaryotic cofactors, like calmodulin, to trigger the synthesis of cAMP in these cells. By accumulating cAMP in the target cells, these toxins either modulate the cellular function or completely deactivate the cell for further function. The immune effector cells appear to be the primary target of these adenylate cyclase toxins. By accumulating cAMP in the immune effector cells, these adenylate cyclase toxins poison the immune system and thus facilitate the survival of the bacteria in the host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center