Cholera Toxin: Assembly, Secretion and in Vivo Expression
Cholera toxin (CT), the enterotoxin elaborated from Vibrio cholerae during cholera infection and which is responsible for the profuse diarrheal secretion in cholera patients, is the prototype for a family of structurally and functionally related multisubunit enterotoxins that may cause diarrhea. Another prominent member of this family is the heat-labile enterotoxin(s) (LT) from E. coli. The molecular properties of CT and LT have been well characterized at both the protein and DNA level. Likewise, their pathogenic action on the intestinal epithelium leading to intracellular cyclic AMP accumulation and fluid secretion is also understood in considerable molecular detail1–3. Figure 1 summarizes the role of CT in the pathogenesis of cholera. An analogous picture may be drawn for LT in the pathogenesis of E. coli diarrhea.
KeywordsOuter Membrane Cholera Toxin Bordetella Pertussis Vibrio Cholerae Toxin Assembly
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