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Infect Immun 2012 Feb;80(2):529-38

Anthrax edema toxin impairs clearance in mice.

Sastalla I, Tang S, Crown D, Liu S, Eckhaus MA, Hewlett IK, Leppla SH, Moayeri M


The anthrax edema toxin (ET) of Bacillus anthracis is composed of the receptor-binding component protective antigen (PA) and of the adenylyl cyclase catalytic moiety, edema factor (EF). Uptake of ET into cells raises intracellular concentrations of the secondary messenger cyclic AMP, thereby impairing or activating host cell functions. We report here on a new consequence of ET action in vivo. We show that in mouse models of toxemia and infection, serum PA concentrations were significantly higher in the presence of enzymatically active EF. These higher concentrations were not caused by ET-induced inhibition of PA endocytosis; on the contrary, ET induced increased PA binding and uptake of the PA oligomer in vitro and in vivo through upregulation of the PA receptors TEM8 and CMG2 in both myeloid and nonmyeloid cells. ET effects on protein clearance from circulation appeared to be global and were not limited to PA. ET also impaired the clearance of ovalbumin, green fluorescent protein, and EF itself, as well as the small molecule biotin when these molecules were coinjected with the toxin. Effects on injected protein levels were not a result of general increase in protein concentrations due to fluid loss. Functional markers for liver and kidney were altered in response to ET. Concomitantly, ET caused phosphorylation and activation of the aquaporin-2 water channel present in the principal cells of the collecting ducts of the kidneys that are responsible for fluid homeostasis. Our data suggest that in vivo, ET alters circulatory protein and small molecule pharmacokinetics by an as-yet-undefined mechanism, thereby potentially allowing a prolonged circulation of anthrax virulence factors such as EF during infection.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #22104108 DOI: 10.1128/IAI.05947-11
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2012-02-16 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29