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Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Mar;17(3):1096-109. Epub 2005 Dec 21.

Shiga toxin regulates its entry in a Syk-dependent manner.

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Department of Biochemistry, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, 0310 Oslo, Norway.


Shiga toxin (Stx) is composed of an A-moiety that inhibits protein synthesis after translocation into the cytosol, and a B-moiety that binds to Gb3 at the cell surface and mediates endocytosis of the toxin. After endocytosis, Stx is transported retrogradely to the endoplasmic reticulum, and then the A-fragment enters the cytosol. In this study, we have investigated whether toxin-induced signaling is involved in its entry. Stx was found to activate Syk and induce rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, one protein being clathrin heavy chain. Toxin-induced clathrin phosphorylation required Syk activity, and in cells overexpressing Syk, a complex containing clathrin and Syk could be demonstrated. Depletion of Syk by small interfering RNA, expression of a dominant negative Syk mutant (Syk KD), or treatment with the Syk inhibitor piceatannol inhibited not only Stx-induced clathrin phosphorylation but also endocytosis of the toxin. Also, Golgi transport of Stx was inhibited under all these conditions. In conclusion, our data suggest that Stx regulates its entry into target cells.

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