Translate this page to:
In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (25)
- Infection and Immunity
- Infection and Immunity
- Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Infection and Immunity
- Cellular Microbiology
- Infection and Immunity
- Infection and Immunity
- The FEBS Journal
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- PloS One
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- Infection and Immunity
- PloS One
- Bioconjugate Chemistry
Articles by Ken Teter in JoVE
Detection of Toxin Translocation into the Host Cytosol by Surface Plasmon Resonance
Michael Taylor, Tuhina Banerjee, Neyda VanBennekom, Ken Teter
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, University of Central Florida
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
Other articles by Ken Teter on PubMed
Transfer of the Cholera Toxin A1 Polypeptide from the Endoplasmic Reticulum to the Cytosol is a Rapid Process Facilitated by the Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation Pathway
Infection and Immunity. Nov, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12379694
The active pool of internalized cholera toxin (CT) moves from the endosomes to the Golgi apparatus en route to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The catalytic CTA1 polypeptide is then translocated from the ER to the cytosol, possibly through the action of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Translocation was previously measured indirectly through the downstream effects of CT action. We have developed a direct biochemical assay for CTA1 translocation that is independent of toxin activity. Our assay is based upon the farnesylation of a CVIM motif-tagged CTA1 polypeptide (CTA1-CVIM) after it enters the cytosol. When expressed from a eukaryotic vector in transfected CHO cells, CTA1-CVIM was targeted to the ER, but was not secreted. Instead, it was translocated into the cytosol and degraded in a proteosome-dependent manner. Translocation occurred rapidly and was monitored by the appearance of farnesylated CTA1-CVIM in the detergent phase of cell extracts generated with Triton X-114. Detergent-phase partitioning of CTA1-CVIM resulted from the cytoplasmic addition of a 15-carbon fatty acid farnesyl moiety to the cysteine residue of the CVIM motif. Our use of the CTA1-CVIM translocation assay provided supporting evidence for the ERAD model of toxin translocation and generated new information on the timing of CTA1 translocation.
Inhibition of Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation in CHO Cells Resistant to Cholera Toxin, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Exotoxin A, and Ricin
Infection and Immunity. Nov, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12379695
Many plant and bacterial toxins act upon cytosolic targets and must therefore penetrate a membrane barrier to function. One such class of toxins enters the cytosol after delivery to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These proteins, which include cholera toxin (CT), Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (ETA), and ricin, move from the plasma membrane to the endosomes, pass through the Golgi apparatus, and travel to the ER. Translocation from the ER to the cytosol is hypothesized to involve the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. We developed a genetic strategy to assess the role of mammalian ERAD in toxin translocation. Populations of CHO cells were mutagenized and grown in the presence of two lethal toxins, ETA and ricin. Since these toxins bind to different surface receptors and attack distinct cytoplasmic targets, simultaneous acquisition of resistance to both would likely result from the disruption of a shared trafficking or translocation mechanism. Ten ETA- and ricin-resistant cell lines that displayed unselected resistance to CT and continued sensitivity to diphtheria toxin, which enters the cytosol directly from acidified endosomes, were screened for abnormalities in the processing of a known ERAD substrate, the Z form of alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1AT-Z). Compared to the parental CHO cells, the rate of alpha1AT-Z degradation was decreased in two independent mutant cell lines. Both of these cell lines also exhibited, in comparison to the parental cells, decreased translocation and degradation of a recombinant CTA1 polypeptide. These findings demonstrated that decreased ERAD function was associated with increased cellular resistance to ER-translocating protein toxins in two independently derived mutant CHO cell lines.
A Class of Mutant CHO Cells Resistant to Cholera Toxin Rapidly Degrades the Catalytic Polypeptide of Cholera Toxin and Exhibits Increased Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark). Apr, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12694562
After binding to the eukaryotic cell surface, cholera toxin undergoes retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum. The catalytic A1 polypeptide of cholera toxin (CTA1) then crosses the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and enters the cytosol in a process that may involve the quality control mechanism known as endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. Other toxins such as Pseudomonas exotoxin A and ricin are also thought to exploit endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation for entry into the cytosol. To test this model, we mutagenized Chinese hamster ovary cells and selected clones that survived a prolonged coincubation with Pseudomonas exotoxin A and ricin. These lethal endoplasmic reticulum-translocating toxins bind different surface receptors and target different cytosolic substrates, so resistance to both would likely result from disruption of a shared trafficking or translocation event. Here we characterize two Pseudomonas exotoxin A/ricin-resistant clones that exhibited increased endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. Both clones acquired the following unselected traits: (i) resistance to cholera toxin; (ii) increased degradation of an endoplasmic reticulum-localized CTA1 construct; (iii) increased degradation of an established endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation substrate, the Z variant of alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1AT-Z); and (iv) reduced secretion of both alpha1AT-Z and the transport-competent protein alpha1AT-M. Proteosome inhibition partially rescued the alpha1AT-M secretion deficiencies. However, the mutant clones did not exhibit increased proteosomal activity against cytosolic proteins, including a second CTA1 construct that was expressed in the cytosol rather than in the endoplasmic reticulum. These results suggested that accelerated endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation in the mutant clones produced a cholera toxin/Pseudomonas exotoxin A/ricin-resistant phenotype by increasing the coupling efficiency between toxin translocation and toxin degradation.
Characterization of Mammalian Ecm29, a 26 S Proteasome-associated Protein That Localizes to the Nucleus and Membrane Vesicles
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dec, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15496406
In addition to its thirty or so core subunits, a number of accessory proteins associate with the 26 S proteasome presumably to assist in substrate degradation or to localize the enzyme within cells. Among these proteins is ecm29p, a 200-kDa yeast protein that contains numerous HEAT repeats as well as a putative VHS domain. Higher eukaryotes possess a well conserved homolog of yeast ecm29p, and we produced antibodies to three peptides in the human Ecm29 sequence. The antibodies show that Ecm29 is present exclusively on 26 S proteasomes in HeLa cells and that Ecm29 levels vary markedly among mouse organs. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy localizes Ecm29 to the centrosome and a subset of secretory compartments including endosomes, the ER and the ERGIC. Ecm29 is up-regulated 2-3-fold in toxinresistant mutant CHO cells exhibiting increased rates of ER-associated degradation. Based on these results we propose that Ecm29 serves to couple the 26 S proteasome to secretory compartments engaged in quality control and to other sites of enhanced proteolysis.
Vesicular Transport is Not Required for the Cytoplasmic Pool of Cholera Toxin to Interact with the Stimulatory Alpha Subunit of the Heterotrimeric G Protein
Infection and Immunity. Dec, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15557603
Cholera toxin (CT) moves from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retrograde vesicular transport. The catalytic A1 polypeptide of CT (CTA1) then crosses the ER membrane, enters the cytosol, ADP-ribosylates the stimulatory alpha subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein (Gsalpha) at the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane, and activates adenylate cyclase. The cytosolic pool of CTA1 may reach the plasma membrane and its Gsalpha target by traveling on anterograde-directed transport vesicles. We examined this possibility with the use of a plasmid-based transfection system that directed newly synthesized CTA1 to either the ER lumen or the cytosol of CHO cells. Such a system allowed us to bypass the CT retrograde trafficking itinerary from the cell surface to the ER. Previous work has shown that the ER-localized pool of CTA1 is rapidly exported from the ER to the cytosol. Expression of CTA1 in either the ER or the cytosol led to the activation of Gsalpha, and Gsalpha activation was not inhibited in transfected cells exposed to drugs that inhibit vesicular traffic. Thus, anterograde transport from the ER to the plasma membrane is not required for the cytotoxic action of CTA1.
Cellular Microbiology. Jul, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15953025
The cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs) are unique in their ability to induce DNA damage, activate checkpoint responses and cause cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in intoxicated cells. However, little is known about their cellular internalization pathway. We demonstrate that binding of the Haemophilus ducreyi CDT (HdCDT) on the plasma membrane of sensitive cells was abolished by cholesterol extraction with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin. The toxin was internalized via the Golgi complex, and retrogradely transported to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), as assessed by N-linked glycosylation. Further translocation from the ER did not require the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, and was Derlin-1 independent. The genotoxic activity of HdCDT was dependent on its internalization and its DNase activity, as induction of DNA double-stranded breaks was prevented in Brefeldin A-treated cells and in cells exposed to a catalytically inactive toxin. Our data contribute to a better understanding of the CDT mode of action and highlight two important aspects of the biology of this bacterial toxin family: (i) HdCDT translocation from the ER to the nucleus does not involve the classical pathways followed by other retrogradely transported toxins and (ii) toxin internalization is crucial for execution of its genotoxic activity.
The Cholera Toxin A1(3) Subdomain is Essential for Interaction with ADP-ribosylation Factor 6 and Full Toxic Activity but is Not Required for Translocation from the Endoplasmic Reticulum to the Cytosol
Infection and Immunity. Apr, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16552056
Cholera toxin (CT) moves from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retrograde vesicular traffic. In the ER, the catalytic CTA1 polypeptide dissociates from the rest of the toxin and enters the cytosol by a process that involves the quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). The cytosolic CTA1 then ADP ribosylates Gsalpha, resulting in adenylate cyclase activation and intoxication of the target cell. It is hypothesized that the C-terminal A1(3) subdomain of CTA1 plays two crucial roles in the intoxication process: (i) it contains a hydrophobic domain that triggers the ERAD mechanism and (ii) it facilitates interaction with the cytosolic ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) that serve as allosteric activators of CTA1. In this study, we examined the role(s) of the CTA1(3) subdomain in CT intoxication. Full-length CTA1 constructs and truncated CTA1 constructs lacking the A1(3) subdomain were generated and used to conduct two-hybrid studies of interactions with ARF6, in vitro enzyme assays, in vivo toxicity assays, and in vivo processing/degradation assays. Direct, plasmid-mediated expression of CTA1 constructs in the ER or cytosol of transfected CHO cells was used to perform the in vivo assays. With these methods, we found that the A1(3) subdomain of CTA1 is important both for interaction with ARF6 and for full expression of enzyme activity in vivo. Surprisingly, however, the A1(3) subdomain was not required for ERAD-mediated passage of CTA1 from the ER to the cytosol. A possible alternative trigger for CTA1 to activate the ERAD mechanism is discussed.
The Pertussis Toxin S1 Subunit is a Thermally Unstable Protein Susceptible to Degradation by the 20S Proteasome
Biochemistry. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17105192
Pertussis toxin (PT) is an AB-type protein toxin that consists of a catalytic A subunit (PT S1) and an oligomeric, cell-binding B subunit. It belongs to a subset of AB toxins that move from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before the A chain passes into the cytosol. Toxin translocation is thought to involve A chain unfolding in the ER and the quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). The absence of lysine residues in PT S1 may allow the translocated toxin to avoid ubiquitin-dependent degradation by the 26S proteasome, which is the usual fate of exported ERAD substrates. As the conformation of PT S1 appears to play an important role in toxin translocation, we used biophysical and biochemical methods to examine the structural properties of PT S1. Our in vitro studies found that the isolated PT S1 subunit is a thermally unstable protein that can be degraded in a ubiquitin-independent fashion by the core 20S proteasome. The thermal denaturation of PT S1 was inhibited by its interaction with NAD, a donor molecule used by PT S1 for the ADP ribosylation of target G proteins. These observations support a model of intoxication in which toxin translocation, degradation, and activity are all influenced by the heat-labile nature of the isolated toxin A chain.
Pet, a Non-AB Toxin, is Transported and Translocated into Epithelial Cells by a Retrograde Trafficking Pathway
Infection and Immunity. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17296748
The plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet) of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli is a 104-kDa autotransporter protein that exhibits proteolytic activity against the actin-binding protein alpha-fodrin. Intracellular cleavage of epithelial fodrin by Pet disrupts the actin cytoskeleton, causing both cytotoxic and enterotoxic effects. Intoxication requires the serine protease activity of Pet and toxin endocytosis from clathrin-coated pits. The additional events in the intracellular trafficking of Pet are largely uncharacterized. Here, we determined by confocal microscopy that internalized Pet is transferred from the early endosomes to the Golgi apparatus and then travels to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Pet associates with the Sec61p translocon before it moves into the cytosol as an intact, 104-kDa protein. This translocation process contrasts with the export of other ER-translocating toxins, in which only the catalytic A subunit of the AB toxin enters the cytosol. However, like intoxication with these AB toxins, Pet intoxication was inhibited in a subset of mutant CHO cell lines with aberrant activity in the ER-associated degradation pathway of ER-to-cytosol translocation. This is the first report which documents the cell surface-to-ER and ER-to-cytosol trafficking of a bacterial non-AB toxin.
Lipopolyamine Treatment Increases the Efficacy of Intoxication with Saporin and an Anticancer Saporin Conjugate
The FEBS Journal. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17714513
Saporin is a type I ribosome-inactivating protein that is often appended with a cell-binding domain to specifically target and kill cancer cells. Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)-saporin, for example, is an anticancer toxin that consists of a chemical conjugate between the human uPA and native saporin. Both saporin and uPA-saporin enter the target cell by endocytosis and must then escape the endomembrane system to reach the cytosolic ribosomes. The latter process may represent a rate-limiting step for intoxication and would therefore directly affect toxin potency. In the present study, we document two treatments (shock with dimethylsulfoxide and lipopolyamine coadministration) that generate substantial cellular sensitization to saporin/uPA-saporin. With the use of lysosome-endosome X (LEX)1 and LEX2 mutant cell lines, an endosomal trafficking step preceding cargo delivery to the late endosomes was identified as a major site for the dimethylsulfoxide-facilitated entry of saporin into the cytosol. Dimethylsulfoxide and lipopolyamines are known to disrupt the integrity of endosome membranes, so these reagents could facilitate the rapid movement of toxin from permeabilized endosomes to the cytosol. However, the same pattern of toxin sensitization was not observed for dimethylsulfoxide- or lipopolyamine-treated cells exposed to diphtheria toxin, ricin, or the catalytic A chain of ricin. The sensitization effects were thus specific for saporin, suggesting a novel mechanism of saporin translocation by endosome disruption. Lipopolyamines have been developed as in vivo gene therapy vectors; thus, lipopolyamine coadministration with uPA-saporin or other saporin conjugates could represent a new approach for anticancer toxin treatments.
Journal of Molecular Biology. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17976649
Cholera toxin (CT) moves from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by vesicular transport. In the ER, the catalytic CTA1 subunit dissociates from the holotoxin and enters the cytosol by exploiting the quality control system of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). It is hypothesized that CTA1 triggers its ERAD-mediated translocation into the cytosol by masquerading as a misfolded protein, but the process by which CTA1 activates the ERAD system remains unknown. Here, we directly assess the thermal stability of the isolated CTA1 polypeptide by biophysical and biochemical methods and correlate its temperature-dependent conformational state with susceptibility to degradation by the 20S proteasome. Measurements with circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy demonstrated that CTA1 is a thermally unstable protein with a disordered tertiary structure and a disturbed secondary structure at 37 degrees C. A protease sensitivity assay likewise detected the temperature-induced loss of native CTA1 structure. This protease-sensitive conformation was not apparent when CTA1 remained covalently associated with the CTA2 subunit. Thermal instability in the dissociated CTA1 polypeptide could thus allow it to appear as a misfolded protein for ERAD-mediated export to the cytosol. In vitro, the disturbed conformation of CTA1 at 37 degrees C rendered it susceptible to ubiquitin-independent degradation by the core 20S proteasome. In vivo, CTA1 was also susceptible to degradation by a ubiquitin-independent proteasomal mechanism. ADP-ribosylation factor 6, a cytosolic eukaryotic protein that enhances the enzymatic activity of CTA1, stabilized the heat-labile conformation of CTA1 and protected it from in vitro degradation by the 20S proteasome. Thermal instability in the reduced CTA1 polypeptide has not been reported before, yet both the translocation and degradation of CTA1 may depend upon this physical property.
Biochemistry. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18702515
Intoxication by the plasmid-encoded toxin (Pet) of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli requires toxin translocation from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the cytosol. This event involves the quality control system of ER-associated degradation (ERAD), but the molecular details of the process are poorly characterized. For many structurally distinct AB-type toxins, ERAD-mediated translocation is triggered by the spontaneous unfolding of a thermally unstable A chain. Here we show that Pet, a non-AB toxin, engages ERAD by a different mechanism that does not involve thermal unfolding. Circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy measurements demonstrated that Pet maintains most of its secondary and tertiary structural features at 37 degrees C, with significant thermal unfolding only occurring at temperatures >or=50 degrees C. Fluorescence quenching experiments detected the partial solvent exposure of Pet aromatic amino acid residues at 37 degrees C, and a cell-based assay suggested that these changes could activate an ERAD-related event known as the unfolded protein response. We also found that HEp-2 cells were resistant to Pet intoxication when incubated with glycerol, a protein stabilizer. Altogether, our data are consistent with a model in which ERAD activity is triggered by a subtle structural destabilization of Pet and the exposure of Pet hydrophobic residues at physiological temperature. This was further supported by computer modeling analysis, which identified a surface-exposed hydrophobic loop among other accessible nonpolar residues in Pet. From our data it appears that Pet can promote its ERAD-mediated translocation into the cytosol by a distinct mechanism involving partial exposure of hydrophobic residues rather than the substantial unfolding observed for certain AB toxins.
Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Mar, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19118582
Thermal instability in the toxin catalytic subunit may be a common property of toxins that exit the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by exploiting the mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). The Haemophilus ducreyi cytolethal distending toxin (HdCDT) does not utilize ERAD to exit the ER, so we predicted the structural properties of its catalytic subunit (HdCdtB) would differ from other ER-translocating toxins. Here, we document the heat-stable properties of HdCdtB which distinguish it from other ER-translocating toxins. Cell-based assays further suggested that HdCdtB does not unfold before exiting the ER and that it may move directly from the ER lumen to the nucleoplasm. These observations suggest a novel mode of ER exit for HdCdtB.
Novel Cell-based Method to Detect Shiga Toxin 2 from Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Inhibitors of Toxin Activity
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Mar, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19139230
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a leading cause of food-borne illness. This human pathogen produces Shiga toxins (Stx1 and Stx2) which inhibit protein synthesis by inactivating ribosome function. The present study describes a novel cell-based assay to detect Stx2 and inhibitors of toxin activity. A Vero cell line harboring a destabilized variant (half-life, 2 h) of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (d2EGFP) was used to monitor the toxin-induced inhibition of protein synthesis. This Vero-d2EGFP cell line produced a fluorescent signal which could be detected by microscopy or with a plate reader. However, a greatly attenuated fluorescent signal was detected in Vero-d2EGFP cells that had been incubated overnight with either purified Stx2 or a cell-free culture supernatant from Stx1- and Stx2-producing E. coli O157:H7. Dose-response curves demonstrated that the Stx2-induced inhibition of enhanced green fluorescent protein fluorescence mirrored the Stx2-induced inhibition of overall protein synthesis and identified a picogram-per-milliliter threshold for toxin detection. To establish our Vero-d2EGFP assay as a useful tool for the identification of toxin inhibitors, we screened a panel of plant compounds for antitoxin activities. Fluorescent signals were maintained when Vero-d2EGFP cells were exposed to Stx1- and Stx2-containing medium in the presence of either grape seed or grape pomace extract. The antitoxin properties of the grape extracts were confirmed with an independent toxicity assay that monitored the overall level of protein synthesis in cells treated with purified Stx2. These results indicate that the Vero-d2EGFP fluorescence assay is an accurate and sensitive method to detect Stx2 activity and can be utilized to identify toxin inhibitors.
Stabilization of the Tertiary Structure of the Cholera Toxin A1 Subunit Inhibits Toxin Dislocation and Cellular Intoxication
Journal of Molecular Biology. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19748510
Cholera toxin (CT) moves from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retrograde vesicular transport. The catalytic subunit of CT (CTA1) then crosses the ER membrane and enters the cytosol in a process that involves the quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation. The molecular details of this dislocation event have not been fully characterized. Here, we report that thermal instability in the CTA1 subunit-specifically, the loss of CTA1 tertiary structure at 37 degrees C-triggers toxin dislocation. Biophysical studies found that glycerol preferentially stabilized the tertiary structure of CTA1 without having any noticeable effect on the thermal stability of its secondary structure. The thermal disordering of CTA1 tertiary structure normally preceded the perturbation of its secondary structure, but in the presence of 10% glycerol the temperature-induced loss of CTA1 tertiary structure occurred at higher temperatures in tandem with the loss of CTA1 secondary structure. The glycerol-induced stabilization of CTA1 tertiary structure blocked CTA1 dislocation from the ER and instead promoted CTA1 secretion into the extracellular medium. This, in turn, inhibited CT intoxication. Glycerol treatment also inhibited the in vitro degradation of CTA1 by the core 20S proteasome. Collectively, these findings indicate that toxin thermal instability plays a key role in the intoxication process. They also suggest the stabilization of CTA1 tertiary structure is a potential goal for novel antitoxin therapeutic agents.
A Host-specific Factor is Necessary for Efficient Folding of the Autotransporter Plasmid-encoded Toxin
Biochimie. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19944129
Autotransporters are the most common virulence factors secreted from Gram-negative pathogens. Until recently, autotransporter folding and outer membrane translocation were thought to be self-mediated events that did not require accessory factors. Here, we report that two variants of the autotransporter plasmid-encoded toxin are secreted by a lab strain of Escherichia coli. Biophysical analysis and cell-based toxicity assays demonstrated that only one of the two variants was in a folded, active conformation. The misfolded variant was not produced by a pathogenic strain of enteroaggregative E. coli and did not result from protein overproduction in the lab strain of E. coli. Our data suggest a host-specific factor is required for efficient folding of plasmid-encoded toxin.
Hsp90 is Required for Transfer of the Cholera Toxin A1 Subunit from the Endoplasmic Reticulum to the Cytosol
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20667832
Cholera toxin (CT) is an AB(5) toxin that moves from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retrograde vesicular transport. In the ER, the catalytic A1 subunit dissociates from the rest of the toxin and enters the cytosol by exploiting the quality control system of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). The driving force for CTA1 dislocation into the cytosol is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the cytosolic chaperone Hsp90 is required for CTA1 passage into the cytosol. Hsp90 bound to CTA1 in an ATP-dependent manner that was blocked by geldanamycin (GA), an established Hsp90 inhibitor. CT activity against cultured cells and ileal loops was also blocked by GA, as was the ER-to-cytosol export of CTA1. Experiments using RNA interference or N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine, a drug that inhibits ER-localized GRP94 but not cytosolic Hsp90, confirmed that the inhibitory effects of GA resulted specifically from the loss of Hsp90 activity. This work establishes a functional role for Hsp90 in the ERAD-mediated dislocation of CTA1.
Biochemistry. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20839789
The catalytic A1 subunit of cholera toxin (CTA1) is an ADP-ribosyltransferase with three distinct subdomains: CTA1(1) forms the catalytic core of the toxin, CTA1(2) is an extended linker between CTA1(1) and CTA1(3), and CTA1(3) is a compact globular region. CTA1 crosses the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane to enter the cytosol where it initiates a cytopathic effect. Toxin translocation involves ER-associated degradation (ERAD), a quality control system that exports misfolded proteins from the ER to the cytosol. At the physiological temperature of 37 °C, the free CTA1 subunit is in a partially unfolded conformation that triggers its ERAD-mediated translocation to the cytosol. Thus, the temperature sensitivity of CTA1 structure is an important determinant of its function. Here, we examined the contribution of CTA1 subdomain structure to the thermal unfolding of CTA1. Biophysical measurements demonstrated that the CTA1(1) subdomain is thermally unstable and that the CTA1(2) subdomain provides a degree of conformational stability to CTA1(1). The CTA1(3) subdomain does not affect the overall stability of CTA1, but the thermal unfolding of CTA1 appears to begin with a local loss of structure in the CTA1(3) subdomain: glycerol and acidic pH both inhibited the thermal disordering of full-length CTA1 but not the disordering of a CTA1 construct lacking the A1(3) subdomain. These observations provide mechanistic insight regarding the thermal unfolding of CTA1, an event which facilitates its subsequent translocation to the cytosol.
Host-Toxin Interactions Involving EspC and Pet, Two Serine Protease Autotransporters of the Enterobacteriaceae
Toxins. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21243083
EspC and Pet are toxins secreted by the diarrheagenic enteropathogenic and enteroaggregative Escherichia coli pathotypes, respectively. Both toxins have a molecular mass around 110 kDa and belong to the same protein family called Serine Protease Autotransporters of the Enterobacteriaceae (SPATE). Furthermore, both toxins act within the cytosol of intoxicated epithelial cells to disrupt the architecture of the actin cytoskeleton. This cytopathic and enterotoxic effect results from toxin cleavage of the actin-binding protein fodrin, although the two toxins recognize different cleavage sites on fodrin. EspC and Pet also have dramatically different mechanisms of entering the target cell which appear dependent upon the E. coli pathotype. In this review, we compare/contrast EspC and Pet in regards to their mode of delivery into the target cell, their effects on fodrin and the actin cytoskeleton, and their possible effects on the physiology of the intestinal epithelial cell.
A Therapeutic Chemical Chaperone Inhibits Cholera Intoxication and Unfolding/translocation of the Cholera Toxin A1 Subunit
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21526142
Cholera toxin (CT) travels as an intact AB(5) protein toxin from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of an intoxicated cell. In the ER, the catalytic A1 subunit dissociates from the rest of the toxin. Translocation of CTA1 from the ER to the cytosol is then facilitated by the quality control mechanism of ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Thermal instability in the isolated CTA1 subunit generates an unfolded toxin conformation that acts as the trigger for ERAD-mediated translocation to the cytosol. In this work, we show by circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy that exposure to 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) inhibited the thermal unfolding of CTA1. This, in turn, blocked the ER-to-cytosol export of CTA1 and productive intoxication of either cultured cells or rat ileal loops. In cell culture studies PBA did not affect CT trafficking to the ER, CTA1 dissociation from the holotoxin, or functioning of the ERAD system. PBA is currently used as a therapeutic agent to treat urea cycle disorders. Our data suggest PBA could also be used in a new application to prevent or possibly treat cholera.
Protein-disulfide Isomerase Displaces the Cholera Toxin A1 Subunit from the Holotoxin Without Unfolding the A1 Subunit
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21543321
Protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI) has been proposed to exhibit an "unfoldase" activity against the catalytic A1 subunit of cholera toxin (CT). Unfolding of the CTA1 subunit is thought to displace it from the CT holotoxin and to prepare it for translocation to the cytosol. To date, the unfoldase activity of PDI has not been demonstrated for any substrate other than CTA1. An alternative explanation for the putative unfoldase activity of PDI has been suggested by recent structural studies demonstrating that CTA1 will unfold spontaneously upon its separation from the holotoxin at physiological temperature. Thus, PDI may simply dislodge CTA1 from the CT holotoxin without unfolding the CTA1 subunit. To evaluate the role of PDI in CT disassembly and CTA1 unfolding, we utilized a real-time assay to monitor the PDI-mediated separation of CTA1 from the CT holotoxin and directly examined the impact of PDI binding on CTA1 structure by isotope-edited Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Our collective data demonstrate that PDI is required for disassembly of the CT holotoxin but does not unfold the CTA1 subunit, thus uncovering a new mechanism for CTA1 dissociation from its holotoxin.
A Cell-based Fluorescent Assay to Detect the Activity of Shiga Toxin and Other Toxins That Inhibit Protein Synthesis
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21567317
Escherichia coli O157:H7, a major cause of food-borne illness, produces Shiga toxins (Stxs) that block protein synthesis by inactivating the ribosome. In this chapter, we describe a simple cell-based fluorescent assay to detect Stxs and inhibitors of toxin activity. The assay can also be used to detect other plant and bacterial toxins that arrest protein synthesis.
Structural and Functional Interactions Between the Cholera Toxin A1 Subunit and ERdj3/HEDJ, a Chaperone of the Endoplasmic Reticulum
Infection and Immunity. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21844235
Cholera toxin (CT) is endocytosed and transported by vesicle carriers to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The catalytic CTA1 subunit then crosses the ER membrane and enters the cytosol, where it interacts with its Gsα target. The CTA1 membrane transversal involves the ER chaperone BiP, but few other host proteins involved with CTA1 translocation are known. BiP function is regulated by ERdj3, an ER-localized Hsp40 chaperone also known as HEDJ. ERdj3 can also influence protein folding and translocation by direct substrate binding. In this work, structural and functional assays were used to examine the putative interaction between ERdj3 and CTA1. Cell-based assays demonstrated that expression of a dominant negative ERdj3 blocks CTA1 translocation into the cytosol and CT intoxication. Binding assays with surface plasmon resonance demonstrated that monomeric ERdj3 interacts directly with CTA1. This interaction involved the A1(2) subdomain of CTA1 and was further dependent upon the overall structure of CTA1: ERdj3 bound to unfolded but not folded conformations of the isolated CTA1 subunit. This was consistent with the chaperone function of ERdj3, as was the ability of ERdj3 to mask the solvent-exposed hydrophobic residues of CTA1. Our data identify ERdj3 as a host protein involved with the CT intoxication process and provide new molecular details regarding CTA1-chaperone interactions.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21887297
AB toxins such as ricin and cholera toxin (CT) consist of an enzymatic A domain and a receptor-binding B domain. After endocytosis of the surface-bound toxin, both ricin and CT are transported by vesicle carriers to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The A subunit then dissociates from its holotoxin, unfolds, and crosses the ER membrane to reach its cytosolic target. Since protein unfolding at physiological temperature and neutral pH allows the dissociated A chain to attain a translocation-competent state for export to the cytosol, the underlying regulatory mechanisms of toxin unfolding are of paramount biological interest. Here we report a biophysical analysis of the effects of anionic phospholipid membranes and two chemical chaperones, 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) and glycerol, on the thermal stabilities and the toxic potencies of ricin toxin A chain (RTA) and CT A1 chain (CTA1). Phospholipid vesicles that mimic the ER membrane dramatically decreased the thermal stability of RTA but not CTA1. PBA and glycerol both inhibited the thermal disordering of RTA, but only glycerol could reverse the destabilizing effect of anionic phospholipids. In contrast, PBA was able to increase the thermal stability of CTA1 in the presence of anionic phospholipids. PBA inhibits cellular intoxication by CT but not ricin, which is explained by its ability to stabilize CTA1 and its inability to reverse the destabilizing effect of membranes on RTA. Our data highlight the toxin-specific intracellular events underlying ER-to-cytosol translocation of the toxin A chain and identify a potential means to supplement the long-term stabilization of toxin vaccines.
Bioconjugate Chemistry. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21226491
When covalently bound to an appropriate ligand, iron oxide nanoparticles can bind to a specific target of interest. This interaction can be detected through changes in the solution's spin-spin relaxation times (T2) via magnetic relaxation measurements. In this report, a strategy of molecular mimicry was used in order to identify targeting ligands that bind to the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB). The cellular CTB-receptor, ganglioside GM1, contains a pentasaccharide moiety consisting in part of galactose and glucose units. We therefore predicted that CTB would recognize carbohydrate-conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles as GM1 mimics, thus producing a detectable change in the T2 relaxation times. Magnetic relaxation experiments demonstrated that CTB interacted with the galactose-conjugated nanoparticles. This interaction was confirmed via surface plasmon resonance studies using either the free or nanoparticle-conjugated galactose molecule. The galactose-conjugated nanoparticles were then used as CTB sensors achieving a detection limit of 40 pM. Via magnetic relaxation studies, we found that CTB also interacted with dextran-coated nanoparticles, and surface plasmon resonance studies also confirmed this interaction. Additional experiments demonstrated that the dextran-coated nanoparticle can also be used as CTB sensors and that dextran can prevent the internalization of CTB into GM1-expressing cells. Our work indicates that magnetic nanoparticle conjugates and magnetic relaxation detection can be used as a simple and fast method to identify targeting ligands via molecular mimicry. Furthermore, our results show that the dextran-coated nanoparticles represent a low-cost approach for CTB detection.