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Microb Pathog. 1989 Feb;6(2):113-22.

Purification and some properties of a Vero toxin from a human strain of Escherichia coli that is immunologically related to Shiga-like toxin II (VT2).

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Department of Bacterial Infection, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


A cytotoxin to Vero cells (Vero toxin), which was immunologically related to Shiga-like toxin II (SLT-II) (or VT2), was purified from a stain of Escherichia coli isolated from a patient with hemolytic uremic syndrome. The toxin was active on Vero cells but much less active on HeLa cells, a property similar to that of the recently identified SLT-II variant from E. coli strains that caused edema disease of swine. Thus the toxin purified in this report was tentatively named Shiga-like toxin II variant (Vero toxin 2 variant). The purification procedures consisted of ammonium sulfate fractionation, DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B column chromatography, chromatofocusing column chromatography, and repeated high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on TSK-gel G-2000SW column and on TSK-gel DEAE-5PW columns. About 90 micrograms of purified toxin was obtained from 451 of the culture supernatant with a yield of about 16%. The purified toxin consisted of A and B subunits of molecular sizes similar to those of SLT-II (VT2). The isoelectric point of the purified toxin was 6.1, which was different from that of SLT-II (VT2) (pI = 4.1). In an Ouchterlony double gel diffusion test, purified toxin and SLT-II (VT2) formed precipitin lines with spur formation against anti-purified toxin and anti-SLT-II (anti-VT2), respectively. The purified toxin was cytotoxic to Vero cells, about 6 pg of the toxin killing 50% of the Vero cells, and showed lethal toxicity to mice when injected intraperitoneally, the LD50 being about 2.7 ng per mouse.

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