, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 841–851 | Cite as

The mechanism of Jurkat cells apoptosis induced by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans cytolethal distending toxin

  • Hui-ping Chen
  • Lu Li
  • Xu Chen
  • Mi-fang Yang
  • Yu Ye
  • Xiao-qian Wang
  • Yan Xu


Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) which is produced by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans causes apoptosis in lymphocytes. But the specific mechanism is not clear. The aim of our research was to investigate the effect and mechanism during this process. The wild-type CdtA, CdtB, CdtC (CdtAW, CdtBW, CdtCW) and mutant CdtB (CdtBM) were expressed and purified respectively and the purity of each subunit was examined by BandScan software. And the type I deoxyribonuclease and PI-3,4,5-triphosphate (PI-3,4,5-P3, PIP3) phosphatase activity were detected by DNA agarose gel electrophoresis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay respectively. The cell apoptosis rates were analyzed by flow cytometry. The morphological changes of apoptosis cells were observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The protein expression of Bax and Bcl-2 was examined by western blot. Differentially expressed apoptosis-related proteins were identified based on isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation technology. In the present study we found that: (i) recombinant wild-type CdtA, CdtB and CdtC (CdtAW, CdtBW, CdtCW) and mutant CdtB (CdtBM) were correctly expressed and the purity of each protein was higher than 80%, (ii) the average apoptosis rate in wild-type CDT (CDTW) treated groups was 50.54%, which was significantly higher than the controls (4.71%) and mutant CDT (CDTM) treated groups (5.58%) (p < 0.05), (iii) morphological changes of apoptosis were observed in CDTW treated cells, (iv) the expression of Bax protein was significantly increased in CDTW treated cells, while Bcl-2 protein expression was significantly decreased, (v) 17 apoptosis-related proteins were expressed differentially, among which 10 proteins (SMNDC1, TNFRSF10B, UBE2I, ITM2A, CASP3, P53, EIF1, TCF3, HMGN5, CASP8) were up-regulated and 7 proteins (RRM2, TPX2, KIF11, NUCKS1, TOP2A, XRCC1, PTPLAD1, RRM2) were down-regulated, (vi) one possible apoptotic pathway [Ubc9 (UBE2I)/P53/DR5 (TNFRSF10B)/Caspase-8 (CASP8)/ Caspase-3 (CASP3)] was selected and partially proved.


Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Cytolethal distending toxin Jurkat cells Apoptosis Proteomics Signal transduction 



This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81170962,81470749), Natural Science Research of University of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. 14KJD320001) and a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD, 2014-37). We also thank American Journal Experts for revising the English used in this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui-ping Chen
    • 1
  • Lu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xu Chen
    • 1
  • Mi-fang Yang
    • 1
  • Yu Ye
    • 1
  • Xiao-qian Wang
    • 1
  • Yan Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral DiseaseNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Periodontics, Affiliated Hospital of StomatologyNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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