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PLoS Pathog. 2019 Apr 5;15(4):e1007704. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007704. eCollection 2019 Apr.

Unique features in the intracellular transport of typhoid toxin revealed by a genome-wide screen.

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Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.


Typhoid toxin is a virulence factor for Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi, the cause of typhoid fever in humans. This toxin has a unique architecture in that its pentameric B subunit, made of PltB, is linked to two enzymatic A subunits, the ADP ribosyl transferase PltA and the deoxyribonuclease CdtB. Typhoid toxin is uniquely adapted to humans, recognizing surface glycoprotein sialoglycans terminated in acetyl neuraminic acid, which are preferentially expressed by human cells. The transport pathway to its cellular targets followed by typhoid toxin after receptor binding is currently unknown. Through a genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9-mediated screen we have characterized the mechanisms by which typhoid toxin is transported within human cells. We found that typhoid toxin hijacks specific elements of the retrograde transport and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation machineries to reach its subcellular destination within target cells. Our study reveals unique and common features in the transport mechanisms of bacterial toxins that could serve as the bases for the development of novel anti-toxin therapeutic strategies.

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