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Nature. 1986 Jul 24-30;322(6077):390-2.

Botulinum C2 toxin ADP-ribosylates actin.


ADP-ribosylation of regulatory proteins is an important pathological mechanism by which various bacterial toxins affect eukaryotic cell functions. While diphtheria toxin catalyses the ADP-ribosylation of elongation factor 2, which results in inhibition of protein synthesis, cholera toxin and pertussis toxin ADP-ribosylate Ns and Ni, respectively, the GTP-binding regulatory components of the adenylate cyclase system, thereby modulating the bidirectional hormonal regulation of the adenylate cyclase. Botulinum C2 toxin is another toxin which has been reported to possess ADP-ribosyltransferase activity. This extremely toxic agent is produced by certain strains of Clostridium botulinum and induces hypotension, an increase in intestinal secretion, vascular permeability and haemorrhaging in the lungs. In contrast to botulinum neurotoxins, the botulinum C2 toxin apparently lacks any neurotoxic effects. Here we report that botulinum C2 toxin ADP-ribosylates a protein of relative molecular mass 43,000 (43K) in intact cells and in cell-free preparations. We present evidence that the 43K protein substrate is actin, which is apparently mono-ADP-ribosylated by the toxin. Botulinum C2 toxin also ADP-ribosylated purified liver G-actin, whereas liver F-actin was only poorly ADP-ribosylated and skeletal muscle actin was not ADP-ribosylated in either its G form or its F form. ADP-ribosylation of liver G-actin by botulinum C2 toxin resulted in a drastic reduction in viscosity of actin polymerized in vitro.

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