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Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin Induces a Rapid Change of Cell Membrane Permeability to Ions and Forms Channels in Artificial Lipid Bilayers

Abstract : Epsilon toxin is a potent toxin produced by Clostri-dium perfringens types B and D, which are responsible for a rapidly fatal enterotoxemia in animals. One of the main properties of epsilon toxin is the production of edema. We have previously found that epsilon toxin causes a rapid swelling of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and that the toxin does not enter the cytosol and remains associated with the cell membrane by forming a large complex (Petit, L., Gibert, M., Gillet, D., Laurent-Winter, C., Boquet, P., and Popoff, M. R. (1997) J. Bacte-riol. 179, 6480 – 6487). Here, we report that epsilon toxin induced in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells a rapid decrease of intracellular K , and an increase of Cl and Na , whereas the increase of Ca 2 occurred later. The entry of propidium iodide that was correlated with the loss of cell viability monitored by the 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test indicates that epsilon toxin formed large pores. In artificial lipid bilayers, epsilon toxin caused current steps with a single-channel conductance of 60 pS in 100 mM KCl, which represented general diffusion pores. The channels were slightly selective for anions, but cations could also penetrate. Epsilon toxin formed wide and water-filled channels permeable to hydrophilic solutes up to a molecular mass of at least 1 kDa, which probably represents the basic mechanism of toxin action on target cells.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 8, 2018 - 4:37:36 PM
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Laëtitia Petit, Elke Maier, Maryse Gibert, Michel Popoff, Roland Benz. Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin Induces a Rapid Change of Cell Membrane Permeability to Ions and Forms Channels in Artificial Lipid Bilayers. Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2001, 276 (19), pp.15736 - 15740. ⟨10.1074/jbc.M010412200⟩. ⟨pasteur-01811229⟩

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