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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007 Mar;49(2):197-204. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Induction of apoptosis in Vero cells by Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria vacuolating cytotoxic factor.

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Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia, Instituto de Biologia, Havana, Cuba.


Recently, a cytotoxin named vacuolating cytotoxic factor (VCF) in Aeromonas sobria and Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria was described. We have now purified this factor using ion metallic affinity chromatography. The VCF is a nonhemolytic enterotoxin that acts as a serine protease. The toxin can be partially neutralized by serum antiaerolysin and it induced not only cytoplasmatic vacuole formation, but also mitochondrial disorders that must be signaling the apoptotic pathways, leading to Vero (African green monkey kidney) cell death. These results suggest that the VCF is a virulence factor of these bacteria, participating in the processes of human disease provoked by preformed toxins in food and infection.

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