Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 8;329(2):465-73.

Diphtheria toxin translocation across cellular membranes is regulated by sphingolipids.

Author information

Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, N-0310 Oslo, Norway.


Diphtheria toxin is translocated across cellular membranes when receptor-bound toxin is exposed to low pH. To study the role of sphingolipids for toxin translocation, both a mutant cell line lacking the first enzyme in de novo sphingolipid synthesis, serine palmitoyltransferase, and a specific inhibitor of the same enzyme, myriocin, were used. The serine palmitoyltransferase-deficient cell line (LY-B) was found to be 10-15 times more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than the genetically complemented cell line (LY-B/cLCB1) and the wild-type cell line (CHO-K1), both when toxin translocation directly across the plasma membrane was induced by exposing cells with surface-bound toxin to low pH, and when the toxin followed its normal route via acidified endosomes into the cytosol. Toxin binding was similar in these three cell lines. Furthermore, inhibition of serine palmitoyltransferase activity by addition of myriocin sensitized the two control cell lines (LY-B/cLCB1 and CHO-K1) to diphtheria toxin, whereas, as expected, no effect was observed in cells lacking serine palmitoyltransferase (LY-B). In conclusion, diphtheria toxin translocation is facilitated by depletion of membrane sphingolipids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center