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FEBS Lett. 2006 Jun 12;580(14):3565-9. Epub 2006 May 22.

Cellular stability of Rho-GTPases glucosylated by Clostridium difficile toxin B.

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Department of Toxicology, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


Mono-glucosylation of Rho, Rac, and Cdc42 by Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB) induces changes of actin dynamics and apoptosis. When fibroblasts were treated with TcdB, an apparent decrease of the cellular Rac1 level was observed when applying anti-Rac1(Mab 102). This decrease was not based on degradation as inhibition of the proteasome by lactacystin did not stabilise cellular Rac1 levels. The application of anti-Rac1 (Mab 23A8) showed that the cellular Rac1 level slightly increased in TcdB-treated fibroblasts; thus, the apparent loss of cellular Rac1 was not due to degradation but due to impaired recognition of glucosylated Rac1 by anti-Rac1 (Mab 102). In contrast, recognition of RhoA by anti-RhoA (Mab 26C4) and Cdc42 by anti-Cdc42 (Mab 44) was not altered by glucosylation; a transient decrease of cellular RhoA and Cdc42 in TcdB-treated fibroblasts was indeed due to proteasomal degradation, as inhibition of the proteasome by lactacystin stabilised both cellular RhoA and Cdc42 levels. The finding that the apparent decrease of Rac1 reflects Rac1 glucosylation offers a valuable tool to determine Rac1 glucosylation.

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