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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jan 15;442(2-3):231-4.

Induction of cytokines in a human colon epithelial cell line by Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) and Stx2 but not by non-toxic mutant Stx1 which lacks N-glycosidase activity.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Research Institute, International Medical Center of Japan, Tokyo.


Stx1 and Stx2 produced by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are cytotoxic due to their N-glycosidase activity on 28S rRNA. In this study, we have shown that proinflammatory cytokine mRNAs, especially IL-8, were induced by Stx1 and Stx2 in Caco-2 cells. A non-toxic mutant of Stxl which lacks N-glycosidase activity did not induce cytokine mRNAs. IL-8 production at the protein level was enhanced by Stx1 and Stx2, but not by the mutant Stx1. These results demonstrate that Shiga toxins induce expression and synthesis of cytokines in Caco-2 cells and their N-glycosidase activity is essential for the induction.

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