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Mol Microbiol. 1991 Nov;5(11):2621-7.

Activation of cholera toxin and Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxins by ADP-ribosylation factors, a family of 20 kDa guanine nucleotide-binding proteins.

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Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Cholera toxin and Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxins are responsible, in part, for the symptomatology of cholera and traveller's diarrhoea, respectively. Effects of the toxins result from ADP-ribosylation of regulatory guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins; the ADP-ribosylated G protein is stabilized in an activated state, resulting in prolonged effects on its target. Toxin-catalysed ADP-ribosylation is stimulated in vitro by a family of guanine nucleotide-binding proteins, c. 20 kDa, termed ADP-ribosylation factors or ARFs. In the presence of GTP, but not GDP or adenine analogues, ARFs serve as allosteric activators of the toxin. The effects are amplified by certain phospholipids and detergents which promote guanine nucleotide binding. Six different mammalian ARF genes have been identified. They encode highly conserved, ubiquitous proteins of 175 to 181 amino acids, containing consensus domains responsible for guanine nucleotide binding. Differences in amino acid sequences are localized near the amino terminus and in the carboxy half of the protein. Although the physiological functions of ARFs have not been precisely defined, their immunological localization to the Golgi is consistent with a role in the regulated orderly movement of newly synthesized proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum, through the Golgi system to their ultimate destination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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