Anthrax toxin

channel-forming activity of protective antigen in planar phospholipid bilayers

R. O. Blaustein, T. M. Koehler, R. J. Collier, A. Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

225 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The three separate proteins that make up anthrax toxin - protective antigen (PA), edema factor (EF), and lethal factor (LF) - act in binary combinations to produce two distinct reactions in experimental animals: edema (PA + EF) and death (PA + LF). PA is believed to interact with a membrane receptor, and after proteolytic processing, to mediate endocytosis and subsequent translocation of EF or LF into the cytosol. PA can be separated, after mild trypsinolysis, into two fragments, PA65 (65 kDa) and PA20 (20 kDa). We demonstrate that trypsin-cleaved PA is capable of forming cation-selective channels in planar phospholipid bilayer membranes and that this activity is confined to the PA65 fragment; PA20, LF, and EF are devoid of channel-forming activity. These PA65 channels exhibit pH-dependent and voltage-dependent activity - a property reminiscent of the channels formed by the two-chain proteins diphtheria, tetanus, and botulinum toxins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2209-2213
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume86
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989

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Phospholipids
Antigens
Tetanus Toxin
Diphtheria Toxin
Membranes
Botulinum Toxins
Endocytosis
Cytosol
Trypsin
Cations
Edema
Proteins
anthrax toxin
edema factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

Cite this

Anthrax toxin : channel-forming activity of protective antigen in planar phospholipid bilayers. / Blaustein, R. O.; Koehler, T. M.; Collier, R. J.; Finkelstein, A.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 86, No. 7, 1989, p. 2209-2213.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blaustein, R. O. ; Koehler, T. M. ; Collier, R. J. ; Finkelstein, A. / Anthrax toxin : channel-forming activity of protective antigen in planar phospholipid bilayers. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 1989 ; Vol. 86, No. 7. pp. 2209-2213.
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