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Mol Microbiol. 1991 Jan;5(1):225-30.

A recombinant C-terminal toxin fragment provides evidence that membrane insertion is important for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin cytotoxicity.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15261.


Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is believed to be involved in several important gastrointestinal illnesses. Recent studies have identified a number of distinct molecular events which occur after CPE treatment of eukaryotic cells or isolated membranes. Additional studies are underway to determine the temporal order and intrinsic importance of each CPE event for cytotoxicity. We now demonstrate that a truncated CPE fragment binds to membranes, but is unable to insert into membranes or cause any other subsequent post-insertion event. This is the first experimental evidence supporting the importance of membrane insertion for CPE cytotoxicity. Binding of the CPE fragment is also shown to be irreversible, strongly suggesting that the irreversible binding of wild-type CPE is not due solely to insertion of CPE into membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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