Shigella Toxin and Related Proteins — Translocation to the Cytosol and Mechanism of Action

  • Sjur Olsnes
  • Kirsten Sandvig
  • Bo van Deurs
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 58)


Shigella species and certain E. coli strains produce toxins that are exceedingly toxic to many mammalian cells (van Heyningen and Gladstone, 1953; Olsnes and Eiklid, 1980; Karmali et al., 1985; O’Brian and Holmes, 1987). Thus, as little as 0.1 pg/ml Shigella toxin is enough to kill a culture of sensitive HeLa cells. Shigella toxin and the related Shiga-like toxins have been cloned and sequenced (Calderwood et al., 1987; Kozlov et al., 1987; Strockbine et al., 1988). The toxins act by inactivating the ribosomes and thereby block protein synthesis (Reisbig, Olsnes and Eiklid, 1981). A necessary step in their mechanism of action is to translocate to the cytosol an enzymatically active polypeptide chain.


Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Diphtheria Toxin Shiga Toxin Plant Toxin Shigella Species 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sjur Olsnes
    • 1
  • Kirsten Sandvig
    • 1
  • Bo van Deurs
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Cancer ResearchThe Norwegian Radium HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Structural Cell Biology Unit, Department of Anatomy, The Panum InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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