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Subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) is an AB5 cytotoxic produced by some strains of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) strains. There are three well-characterised AB5 toxin sub-families: (i) cholera toxin (Ctx) and the closely related E. coli heat labile enterotoxins (LT-I and LT-II); (ii) pertussis toxin (Ptx); and (iii) Shiga toxin (Stx). SubAB is lethal for mice, causing extensive microvascular thrombosis as well as necrosis in the brain, kidney, and liver and apoptosis in the spleen, kidney, and liver. Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) is an etiologic agent of hemorrhagic colitis. AB5 toxins are characterized by enzymatic A subunits capable of disrupting critical host cell functions, non-covalently linked to pentameric B subunits that bind to specific glycan receptors on target eukaryotic cells triggering toxin uptake. The toxin is also proving to be a useful tool for probing the role of BiP and ER stress in a variety of cellular functions.
Research Journal of Toxins, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Nature Reviews Microbiology, Toxins