Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gate for bacterial toxins found in cells

Date:
April 16, 2014
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
A molecule that smuggles toxins from intestinal pathogens into human cells has been discovered by scientists. "In order to prevent the toxin from entering the cell, it is necessary to find the receptor that serves as the gatekeeper. But the search for this key molecule remained unsuccessful for a long time," one researcher. The team has now identified a receptor for a clostridial toxin of this type for the first time ever.

The cell of the host absorbs the clostridium perfringens toxin TpeL via the receptor LRP1. The toxins then destroy the cell from within. (left: cell culture without toxins; right: cell culture after toxins were applied).
Credit: Panagiotis Papatheodorou

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible for smuggling the toxin of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens into the cell. The TpeL toxin is formed by C. perfringens, a pathogen that causes gas gangrene and food poisoning. It is very similar to the toxins of many other hospital germs of the genus Clostridium. The toxins bind to surface molecules and creep into the body cell, where they lead to cell death.

Related Articles


"In order to prevent the toxin from entering the cell, it is necessary to find the receptor that serves as the gatekeeper. But the search for this key molecule remained unsuccessful for a long time," says Aktories, member of the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies. In cooperation with colleagues from Düsseldorf, the USA, and the Netherlands, the researchers from Freiburg have now identified a receptor for a clostridial toxin of this type for the first time ever. Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Clostridia cause intestinal and wound diseases in humans and animals that are often fatal. "At the moment, infections with the bacterium Clostridium difficile are particularly problematic in hospitals. The diseases tend to appear following treatment with antibiotics and often lead to diarrhea, but also to fatal inflammations of the bowels," explains Aktories. The toxins force their way into host cells and deactivate signaling molecules by attaching a sugar molecule to these cellular switches. Once this signaling pathway has been switched off, the cell dies -- infested tissue dies off.

In order to find the receptor, the researchers applied a genetic selection procedure, a so-called screening, in which individual genes in cells from human cancer cell lines are turned off at random. This procedure led to the discovery that cells are immune to the TpeL toxin when the gene for the protein LRP1 is switched off on the cell surface. LRP1, which stands for low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1, usually takes in proteins that serve as a means of transport for lipids in the blood. The researchers demonstrate that LRP1 is the long sought-after key molecule: It also regulates the intake of the toxin TpeL.

His team also proposes a new model, explains Aktories: "Our findings indicate that two receptors are involved in the effect of the other sugar-carrying clostridial toxins." Researchers can use the findings to develop new agents against clostridia. "Our discovery will also provide new impetus for researchers to identify further toxin receptors," Aktories hopes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Schorch, S. Song, F. R. van Diemen, H. H. Bock, P. May, J. Herz, T. R. Brummelkamp, P. Papatheodorou, K. Aktories. LRP1 is a receptor for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin indicating a two-receptor model of clostridial glycosylating toxins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1323790111

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Gate for bacterial toxins found in cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416090532.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2014, April 16). Gate for bacterial toxins found in cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416090532.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Gate for bacterial toxins found in cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416090532.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) — The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins