Large Clostridial Cytotoxins as Tools in Cell Biology

  • I. Just
  • P. Boquet
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 250)


Clostridium difficile toxin A and B, the lethal and haemorrhagic toxin from Clostridium sordellii and the α-toxin from Clostridium novyi are encompassed in the family of large clostridial cytotoxins (LCC) (Von Eichel-Streiber et al. 1996; Boquet: et al. 1998). This designation came from their molecular mass of about 300kDa and their obvious cytotoxic activity to induce disaggregation of the actin cytoskeleton. Despite their comparable toxic activities towards cultured cell lines, the toxins are produced by strains which are involved in distinct disease entities (Hatheway 1990). The best characterised are toxins A and B from C. difficile, which are of major clinical importance causing antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis (Kelly et al. 1994; Kelly and LaMont 1998).


Actin Cytoskeleton Lethal Toxin Distinct Disease Entity Iota Toxin GTPase Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Just
    • 1
  • P. Boquet
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Pharmakologie und ToxikologieUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.INSERM U 452Faculté de MédecineNiceFrance

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