Author(s): StevensTruss R, Messer WS Jr, Hinman CL
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Abstract Cobra venom cytotoxins (CTX) have been shown to disrupt cells as different as immunocytes, skeletal myocytes, erythrocytes and tumor cells. Nevertheless, even subpopulations of tumor cells are differentially susceptible to CTX by an order of magnitude. In the present study, our objective was to compare CTX-specific binding with cytolytic potency for two disparate cell types in vitro. We investigated the lytic activity of cytotoxin-III from Naja naja atra (NNA, fraction D) using heart cells and human leukemic T-cells (CEM cells). For both cell types, 50\% cytolysis, assessed by tetrazolium dye conversion, occurred with microM concentrations of toxin (EC50 = 2.2 microM). We examined the binding of radiolabeled CTX III to both heart cells and CEM cells and found the apparent dissociation constant (KDapp) to be 0.69 microM and 0.75 microM, for CEM and heart cells respectively. The Bmax for the CEM cells was 1.0 fmoles/cell and that for heart cells was 5.2 fmoles/cell, both exhibiting positive cooperativity between the sites (Hill coefficients 1.4, T-cells; 1.6, heart). Relatively modest dissociation constants plus high numbers of binding sites per cell are consistent with a model of CTX binding to plasma membranes by interaction with phospholipids in the bilayer. Our results suggest that the lytic activity of this cytotoxin follows its binding to a population of sites on the cells in a cooperative fashion.
This article was published in J Membr Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology