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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1994 Jan;13(1):59-64.

Toxins A and B of Clostridium difficile.

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Eijkman-Winkler Laboratory for Medical Microbiology, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


The toxins produced by Clostridium difficile share several functional properties with other bacterial toxins, like the heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli and cholera toxin. However, functional and structural differences also exist. Like cholera toxin, their main target is the disruption of the microfilaments in the cell. However, since these effects are not reversible, as found with cholera toxin, additional mechanisms add to the cytotoxic potential of these toxins. Unlike most bacterial toxins, which are built from two structurally and functionally different small polypeptide chains, the functional and binding properties of the toxins of C. difficile are confined within one large polypeptide chain, making them the largest bacterial toxins known so far.

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