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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(2):305-12. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins bound specifically to various proteins via domain III, which had a galactose-binding domain-like fold.

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Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan.


Cry toxins have been reported to bind not only to receptors on insect cells but also to several unrelated proteins. In this study, we investigated the binding properties of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins, focusing on domain III, a Cry toxin region with a structure that of the galactose-binding domain-like. Cry1Aa, Cry1Ac, and Cry8Ca specifically bound to several proteins unrelated to insect midgut cells. Cry1Aa binding to Cry toxin-binding proteins was inhibited by a monoclonal antibody, 2C2, indicating that Cry1Aa binds to these Cry toxin-binding proteins through domain III. Cry1Aa binding to Bombyx mori aminopeptidase N and other Cry toxin-binding proteins was inhibited by carbonic anhydrase, a Cry toxin-binding protein. The binding regions of carbonic anhydrase and Bombyx mori aminopeptidase N were narrowed to regions of less than 20 amino acids that did not have any similarity, suggesting that Cry toxin domain III has a binding pocket for multiple proteins.

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