Book Chapter

X-ray crystallography shines a light on pore-forming toxins.

Bronte A Johnstone, Michelle P Christie, Craig J Morton, Michael W Parker

Methods in Enzymology | Methods in Enzymology | Published : 2021

Abstract

A common form of cellular attack by pathogenic bacteria is to secrete pore-forming toxins (PFTs). Capable of forming transmembrane pores in various biological membranes, PFTs have also been identified in a diverse range of other organisms such as sea anemones, earthworms and even mushrooms and trees. The mechanism of pore formation by PFTs is associated with substantial conformational changes in going from the water-soluble to transmembrane states of the protein. The determination of the crystal structures for numerous PFTs has shed much light on our understanding of these proteins. Other than elucidating the atomic structural details of PFTs and the conformational changes that must occur fo..

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