Shiga Toxin Subtypes Display Dramatic Differences in Potency

Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, Room 3109, 231 Albert Sabin Way, ML 524, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0524, USA.
Infection and immunity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 03/2011; 79(3):1329-37. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.01182-10
Source: PubMed


Purified Shiga toxin (Stx) alone is capable of producing systemic complications, including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), in animal models of disease. Stx includes two major antigenic forms (Stx1 and Stx2), with minor variants of Stx2 (Stx2a to -h). Stx2a is more potent than Stx1. Epidemiologic studies suggest that Stx2 subtypes also differ in potency, but these differences have not been well documented for purified toxin. The relative potencies of five purified Stx2 subtypes, Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c, Stx2d, and activated (elastase-cleaved) Stx2d, were studied in vitro by examining protein synthesis inhibition using Vero monkey kidney cells and inhibition of metabolic activity (reduction of resazurin to fluorescent resorufin) using primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTECs). In both RPTECs and Vero cells, Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved Stx2d were at least 25 times more potent than Stx2b and Stx2c. In vivo potency in mice was also assessed. Stx2b and Stx2c had potencies similar to that of Stx1, while Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved Stx2d were 40 to 400 times more potent than Stx1.

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    • "The B-subunits of Stx recognize cell surface glycolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) [33] and to a lesser extent globotetraosylceramide (Gb4) as receptors [27], [34] (Table 1). Gb3 is composed of a tri-saccharide (Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glc), called Pk trisaccharide, which is attached to the lipid, ceramide. "
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    ABSTRACT: The major virulence factor of Shiga toxin producing E. coli, is Shiga toxin (Stx), an AB5 toxin that consists of a ribosomal RNA-cleaving A-subunit surrounded by a pentamer of receptor-binding B subunits. The two major isoforms, Stx1 and Stx2, and Stx2 variants (Stx2a-h) significantly differ in toxicity. The exact reason for this toxicity difference is unknown, however different receptor binding preferences are speculated to play a role. Previous studies used enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to study binding of Stx1 and Stx2a toxoids to glycolipid receptors. Here, we studied binding of holotoxin and B-subunits of Stx1, Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c and Stx2d to glycolipid receptors globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4) in the presence of cell membrane components such as phosphatidylcholine (PC), cholesterol (Ch) and other neutral glycolipids. In the absence of PC and Ch, holotoxins of Stx2 variants bound to mixtures of Gb3 with other glycolipids but not to Gb3 or Gb4 alone. Binding of all Stx holotoxins significantly increased in the presence of PC and Ch. Previously, Stx2a has been shown to form a less stable B-pentamer compared to Stx1. However, its effect on glycolipid receptor binding is unknown. In this study, we showed that even in the absence of the A-subunit, the B-subunits of both Stx1 and Stx2a were able to bind to the glycolipids and the more stable B-pentamer formed by Stx1 bound better than the less stable pentamer of Stx2a. B-subunit mutant of Stx1 L41Q, which shows similar stability as Stx2a B-subunits, lacked glycolipid binding, suggesting that pentamerization is more critical for binding of Stx1 than Stx2a.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e101173. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101173 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Many studies have underlined the potential key role of the Stx2 subtypes in the severity of disease. Although Stx2e is not a potent subtype [47], strains harboring Stx2e have been isolated from patients with diarrhea [48]. Intimin contributes to the development of A/E lesions and is a key virulence for some STEC serotypes [49], while ehxA can be found in many STEC serotypes, such as O157:H7 and O26:H11 that are associated with diarrheal disease and HUS [7,50]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is recognized as an important human diarrheal pathogen. Swine plays an important role as a carrier of this pathogen. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of STEC from healthy swine collected between May 2011 and August 2012 from 3 cities/provinces in China. A total of 1003 samples, including 326 fecal, 351 small intestinal contents and 326 colon contents samples, was analyzed. Two hundred and fifty five samples were stx-positive by PCR and 93 STEC isolates were recovered from 62 stx-positive samples. Twelve O serogroups and 19 O:H serotypes including 6 serotypes (O100:H20/[H20], O143:H38/[H38], O87:H10, O172:H30/[H30], O159:H16, O9:H30/[H30]) rarely found in swine and ruminants were identified. All 93 STEC isolates harbored stx2 only, all of which were stx2e subtype including 1 isolate being a new variant of stx2e. 53.76%, 15.05% and 2.15% STEC isolates carried astA, hlyA and ehxA respectively. Four STEC isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island. Of the 15 adherence-associated genes tested, 13 (eae, efa1, iha, lpfAO113, lpfAO157/OI-154, lpfAO157/OI-141, toxB, saa, F4, F5, F6, F17 or F41) were all absent while 2 (paa and F18) were present in 7 and 4 STEC isolates respectively. The majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline (79.57%), nalidixic acid (78.49%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (73.12%) and kanamycin (55.91%). The STEC isolates were divided into 63 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 21 sequence types (STs). Isolates of the same STs generally showed the same or similar drug resistance patterns. A higher proportion of STEC isolates from Chongqing showed multidrug resistance with one ST (ST3628) resistant to 14 antimicrobials. Our results indicate that swine is a significant reservoir of STEC strains in China. Based on comparison by serotypes and sequence types with human strains and presence of virulence genes, the swine STEC may have a low potential to cause human disease.
    BMC Microbiology 01/2014; 14(1):5. DOI:10.1186/1471-2180-14-5 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    • "There are seven subtypes of Stx2 (a through g) identified so far, but Stx2a, Stx2c, and Stx2d are the subtypes most closely associated with HUS [42]. These subtypes are very similar to each other at the amino acid sequence level and recognized by any one of our mAbs used as antibody pairs in our ELISAs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) food contaminations pose serious health concerns, and have been the subject of massive food recalls. STEC has been identified as the major cause of the life-threatening complication of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Besides supportive care, there currently are no therapeutics available. The use of antibiotics for combating pathogenic E. coli is not recommended because they have been shown to stimulate toxin production. Clearing Stx2 from the circulation could potentially lessen disease severity. In this study, we tested the in vivo neutralization of Stx2 in mice using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We measured the biologic half-life of Stx2 in mice and determined the distribution phase or t1/2 α to be 3 min and the clearance phase or t1/2 β to be 40 min. Neutralizing mAbs were capable of clearing Stx2 completely from intoxicated mouse blood within minutes. We also examined the persistence of these mAbs over time and showed that complete protection could be passively conferred to mice 4 weeks before exposure to Stx2. The advent of better diagnositic methods and the availability of a greater arsenal of therapeutic mAbs against Stx2 would greatly enhance treatment outcomes of life threatening E. coli infections.
    Toxins 10/2013; 5(10):1845-58. DOI:10.3390/toxins5101845 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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