Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology



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The Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is a heterotrimeric AB2 toxin capable of inducing lymphocytes, and other cell types, to undergo cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Exposure to Cdt results in binding to the cell surface followed by internalization and translocation of the active subunit, CdtB, to intracellular compartments. These events are dependent upon toxin binding to cholesterol in the context of lipid rich membrane microdomains often referred to as lipid rafts. We now demonstrate that, in addition to binding to the plasma membrane of lymphocytes, another early and critical event initiated by Cdt is the translocation of the host cell protein, cellugyrin (synaptogyrin-2) to the same cholesterol-rich microdomains. Furthermore, we demonstrate that cellugyrin is an intracellular binding partner for CdtB as demonstrated by immunoprecipitation. Using CRISPR/cas9 gene editing we established a Jurkat cell line deficient in cellugyrin expression (JurkatCg−); these cells were capable of binding Cdt, but unable to internalize CdtB. Furthermore, JurkatCg− cells were not susceptible to Cdt-induced toxicity; these cells failed to exhibit blockade of the PI-3K signaling pathway, cell cycle arrest or cell death. We propose that cellugyrin plays a critical role in the internalization and translocation of CdtB to critical intracellular target sites. These studies provide critical new insight into the mechanism by which Cdt, and in particular, CdtB is able to induce toxicity.

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This article is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.


lymphocytes, toxin, cytolethal distending toxin, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, pathogenesis, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.