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J Biol Chem. 2017 Oct 27;292(43):17668-17680. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.798231. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

The Rho ADP-ribosylating C3 exoenzyme binds cells via an Arg-Gly-Asp motif.

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From the Institute of Toxicology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, D-30625 Hannover and
the Institute of Integrative Neuroanatomy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.
From the Institute of Toxicology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, D-30625 Hannover and.


The Rho ADP-ribosylating C3 exoenzyme (C3bot) is a bacterial protein toxin devoid of a cell-binding or -translocation domain. Nevertheless, C3 can efficiently enter intact cells, including neurons, but the mechanism of C3 binding and uptake is not yet understood. Previously, we identified the intermediate filament vimentin as an extracellular membranous interaction partner of C3. However, uptake of C3 into cells still occurs (although reduced) in the absence of vimentin, indicating involvement of an additional host cell receptor. C3 harbors an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif, which is the major integrin-binding site, present in a variety of integrin ligands. To check whether the RGD motif of C3 is involved in binding to cells, we performed a competition assay with C3 and RGD peptide or with a monoclonal antibody binding to β1-integrin subunit and binding assays in different cell lines, primary neurons, and synaptosomes with C3-RGD mutants. Here, we report that preincubation of cells with the GRGDNP peptide strongly reduced C3 binding to cells. Moreover, mutation of the RGD motif reduced C3 binding to intact cells and also to recombinant vimentin. Anti-integrin antibodies also lowered the C3 binding to cells. Our results indicate that the RGD motif of C3 is at least one essential C3 motif for binding to host cells and that integrin is an additional receptor for C3 besides vimentin.


ADP-ribosylation; ADP-ribosyltransferase; C3 exoenzyme; RGD; bacterial toxin; binding; integrin; ligand-binding protein; protein-protein interaction; vimentin

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