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FEBS Lett. 2015 Jan 30;589(3):342-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.12.018. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Botulinum neurotoxin homologs in non-Clostridium species.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada.
2
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address: acdoxey@uwaterloo.ca.

Abstract

Clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are the deadliest toxins known and the causative agents of botulism and tetanus. Despite their structural and functional complexity, no CNT homologs are currently known outside Clostridium. Here, we report the first homologs of Clostridium CNTs within the genome of the rice fermentation organism Weissella oryzae SG25. One gene in W. oryzae S25 encodes a protein with a four-domain architecture and HExxH protease motif common to botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). An adjacent gene with partial similarity to CNTs is also present, and both genes seem to have been laterally transferred into the W. oryzae genome from an unknown source. Identification of mobile, CNT-related genes outside of Clostridium has implications for our understanding of the evolution of this important toxin family.

KEYWORDS:

Botulinum neurotoxin; Clostridial neurotoxin; Clostridium; Lateral gene transfer; Toxin; Weissella

PMID:
25541486
DOI:
10.1016/j.febslet.2014.12.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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