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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Jan 1;146(1):117-21.

Immunological and functional comparison between Clostridium perfringens iota toxin, C. spiroforme toxin, and anthrax toxins.

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Unité des Toxines Microbiennes, CNRS URA1858, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Clostridium perfringens iota and C. spiroforme toxins consist of two separate proteins. One is the binding component and the other the enzymatic component. The two toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis are composed of binary combinations of three proteins: protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor. As shown by Western blotting and ELISA, the binding component of anthrax toxin shares common epitopes with that of iota toxin and C. spiroforme toxin which are closely related immunologically. However, no functional complementation was observed between iota toxin and anthrax toxin components. The binding components can form toxins active on macrophages only in combination with their respective enzymatic components. Agents which prevent acidification of endosomes do not have the same effects on anthrax toxin activity as they do on iota and C. spiroforme toxins. Therefore, the mechanisms of entry into the cells are presumably different. Since the binding components of anthrax toxins and iota toxin share a conserved putative translocation domain, these binding components could have a common mode of insertion into the cell membranes.

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