Journal article

The mechanism of membrane insertion for a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin: A novel paradigm for pore-forming toxins

O Shatursky, AP Heuck, LA Shepard, J Rossjohn, MW Parker, AE Johnson, RK Tweten

Cell | CELL PRESS | Published : 1999


Perfringolysin O (PFO), a water-soluble monomeric cytolysin secreted by pathogenic Clostridium perfringens, oligomerizes and forms large pores upon encountering cholesterol-containing membranes. Whereas all pore-forming bacterial toxins examined previously have been shown to penetrate the membrane using a single amphipathic beta hairpin per polypeptide, cysteine-scanning mutagenesis and multiple independent fluorescence techniques here reveal that each PFO monomer contains a second domain involved in pore formation, and that each of the two amphipathic beta hairpins completely spans the membrane. In the soluble monomer, these transmembrane segments are folded into six alpha helices. The inse..

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