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Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin shows structural similarity to the pore-forming toxin aerolysin

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology volume 11, pages 797798 (2004) | Download Citation

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Abstract

ε-Toxin from Clostridium perfringens is a lethal toxin. Recent studies suggest that the toxin acts via an unusually potent pore-forming mechanism. Here we report the crystal structure of ε-toxin, which reveals structural similarity to aerolysin from Aeromonas hydrophila. Pore-forming toxins can change conformation between soluble and transmembrane states. By comparing the two toxins, we have identified regions important for this transformation.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council along with the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Data collection was carried out at BM14 of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Crystallography, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK.

    • Ambrose R Cole
    • , David S Moss
    •  & Ajit K Basak
  2. CNR Anaerobies et Botulisme, Unite Bacteries Anaerobies et Toxines, Institut Pasteur, 28 Rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

    • Maryse Gibert
    •  & Michel Popoff
  3. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK.

    • Richard W Titball

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ajit K Basak.

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    Supplementary Table 1

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb804

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