Send to

Choose Destination
Gene. 1996 Nov 21;180(1-2):91-9.

Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin: proCyaA and CyaC proteins synthesised separately in Escherichia coli produce active toxin in vitro.

Author information

Division of Infection and Immunity, IBLS, Glasgow University, UK.


Bordetella pertussis produces a cell-invasive adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) which is related to the RTX family of pore-forming toxins. Like all RTX toxins, CyaA is synthesised as a protoxin (proCyaA), encoded by the cyaA gene. Activation to the mature cell-invasive toxin involves palmitoylation of lysine 983 and is dependent on co-expression of cyaC. The role of the cyaC gene product in the acylation reaction has not been determined. We have developed an efficient T7 RNA polymerase system for over-expression of cyaA and cyaC separately in Escherichia coli. Each protein accumulated intracellularly in an insoluble form and could be collected by centrifugation of lysed cells. A single-step purification was achieved by extraction of the aggregated material with 8 M urea. Active cell-invasive CyaA was produced in vitro when the proCyaA and CyaC proteins were mixed with a cytosolic extract of either E. coli or B. pertussis. Activation was assumed to occur by an acylation reaction requiring acyl carrier protein (ACP) as cofactor, as the cytosolic factor required for toxin activation was lost if the S100 extract was dialysed before use and the cytosolic factor could be replaced in the in vitro reaction by ACP charged separately in vitro with palmitic acid, as reported previously for activation of the homologous E. coli haemolysin (HlyA). The in vitro activation system may be used to investigate the mechanism of the CyaC-dependent acylation of proCyaA and the effect of variation of the modifying fatty acyl group on target cell specificity and toxic activity of CyaA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center