BMC Microbiology, Oct 16, 2009, Vol.9, p.220
Background Background: Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is one of the well-characterized virulence factors of Campylobacter jejuni, but it is unknown how CDT becomes surface-exposed or is released from the bacterium to the surrounding environment. Results Our data suggest that CDT is secreted to the bacterial culture supernatant via outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) released from the bacteria. All three subunits (the CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC proteins) were detected by immunogold labeling and electron microscopy of OMVs. Subcellular fractionation of the bacteria indicated that, apart from the majority of CDT detected in the cytoplasmic compartment, appreciable amounts (20-50%) of the cellular pool of CDT proteins were present in the periplasmic compartment. In the bacterial culture supernatant, we found that a majority of the extracellular CDT was tightly associated with the OMVs. Isolated OMVs could exert the cell distending effects typical of CDT on a human intestinal cell line, indicating that CDT is present there in a biologically active form. Conclusion Our results strongly suggest that the release of outer membrane vesicles is functioning as a route of C. jejuni to deliver all the subunits of CDT toxin (CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC) to the surrounding environment, including infected host tissue.
Bacterial Toxins -- Health Aspects ; Bacterial Toxins -- Research ; Campylobacter -- Health Aspects ; Campylobacter -- Research ; Cell Membranes -- Physiological Aspects ; Cell Membranes -- Research ; Electron Microscopy -- Usage
Cengage Learning, Inc.