Clostridial C3 Toxins Enter and Intoxicate Human Dendritic Cells.
ABSTRACT: C3 protein toxins produced by Clostridium (C.) botulinum and C. limosum are mono-ADP-ribosyltransferases, which specifically modify the GTPases Rho A/B/C in the cytosol of monocytic cells, thereby inhibiting Rho-mediated signal transduction in monocytes, macrophages, and osteoclasts. C3 toxins are selectively taken up into the cytosol of monocytic cells by endocytosis and translocate from acidic endosomes into the cytosol. The C3-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation of Rho proteins inhibits essential functions of these immune cells, such as migration and phagocytosis. Here, we demonstrate that C3 toxins enter and intoxicate dendritic cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Both immature and mature human dendritic cells efficiently internalize C3 exoenzymes. These findings could also be extended to the chimeric fusion toxin C2IN-C3lim. Moreover, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy revealed the localization of the internalized C3 protein in endosomes and emphasized its potential use as a carrier to deliver foreign proteins into dendritic cells. In contrast, the enzyme C2I from the binary C. botulinum C2 toxin was not taken up into dendritic cells, indicating the specific uptake of C3 toxins. Taken together, we identified human dendritic cells as novel target cells for clostridial C3 toxins and demonstrated the specific uptake of these toxins via endosomal vesicles.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The C3bot1 protein (~23 kDa) from Clostridium botulinum ADP-ribosylates and thereby inactivates Rho. C3bot1 is selectively taken up into the cytosol of monocytes/macrophages but not of other cell types such as epithelial cells or fibroblasts. Most likely, the internalization occurs by a specific endocytotic pathway via acidified endosomes.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Here, we tested whether enzymatic inactive C3bot1E174Q serves as a macrophage-selective transport system for delivery of enzymatic active proteins into the cytosol of such cells. Having confirmed that C3bot1E174Q does not induce macrophage activation, we used the actin ADP-ribosylating C2I (∼50 kDa) from Clostridium botulinum as a reporter enzyme for C3bot1E174Q-mediated delivery into macrophages. The recombinant C3bot1E174Q-C2I fusion toxin was cloned and expressed as GST-protein in Escherichia coli. Purified C3bot1E174Q-C2I was recognized by antibodies against C2I and C3bot and showed C2I-specific enzyme activity in vitro. When applied to cultured cells C3bot1E174Q-C2I ADP-ribosylated actin in the cytosol of macrophages including J774A.1 and RAW264.7 cell lines as well as primary cultured human macrophages but not of epithelial cells. Together with confocal fluorescence microscopy experiments, the biochemical data indicate the selective uptake of a recombinant C3-fusion toxin into the cytosol of macrophages.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>In summary, we demonstrated that C3bot1E174Q can be used as a delivery system for fast, selective and specific transport of enzymes into the cytosol of living macrophages. Therefore, C3-based fusion toxins can represent valuable molecular tools in experimental macrophage pharmacology and cell biology as well as attractive candidates to develop new therapeutic approaches against macrophage-associated diseases.
Project description:Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin consists of the binding component C2II and the enzyme component C2I, which ADP-ribosylates G-actin of eukaryotic cells. Trypsin-activated C2II (C2IIa) forms heptamers that mediate cell binding and translocation of C2I from acidic endosomes into the cytosol of target cells. By genome sequencing of C. botulinum strain (C) 2300, we found that C2II from this strain carries a C-terminal extension of 129 amino acids, unlike its homologous counterparts from strains (C) 203U28, (C) 468, and (D) 1873. This extension shows a high similarity to the C-terminal receptor-binding domain of C2II and is presumably the result of a duplication of this domain. The C2II extension facilitates the binding to cell surface receptors, which leads to an increased intoxication efficiency compared to that of C2II proteins from other C. botulinum strains.
Project description:Bacterial protein toxins became valuable molecular tools for the targeted modulation of cell functions in experimental pharmacology and attractive therapeutics because of their potent and specific mode of action in human cells. C2IN-C3lim, a recombinant fusion toxin (~50 kDa) of the Rho-inhibiting C3lim from Clostridium (C.) limosum and a non-toxic portion of the C. botulinum C2 toxin (C2IN), is selectively internalized into the cytosol of monocytic cells where C3lim specifically ADP-ribosylates Rho A and -B, thereby inhibiting Rho-mediated signaling. Thus, we hypothesized that these unique features make C2IN-C3lim an attractive molecule for the targeted pharmacological down-regulation of Rho-mediated functions in monocytes. The analysis of the actin structure and the Rho ADP-ribosylation status implied that C2IN-C3lim entered the cytosol of primary human monocytes from healthy donors ex vivo within 1 h. Moreover, it inhibited the fMLP-induced chemotaxis of human monocytes in a Boyden chamber model ex vivo. Similarly, in a 3-dimensional ex vivo model of extravasation, single cell analysis revealed that C2IN-C3lim-treated cells were not able to move. In a clinically relevant mouse model of blunt chest trauma, the local application of C2IN-C3lim into the lungs after thorax trauma prevented the trauma-induced recruitment of monocytes into the lungs in vivo. Thus, C2IN-C3lim might be an attractive lead compound for novel pharmacological strategies to avoid the cellular damage response caused by monocytes in damaged tissue after trauma and during systemic inflammation. The results suggest that the pathophysiological role of clostridial C3 toxins might be a down-modulation of the innate immune system.
Project description:The role of Rho proteins in lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-mediated induction of cyclo-oxygenase-2 (Cox-2) was investigated in renal mesangial cells. Previous studies had shown that toxin B, an inhibitor of Rho, Rac and Cdc42, suppressed Cox-2 induction. A role for RhoA in pertussis toxin-sensitive LPA signalling was excluded with C3 transferase from Clostridium limosum, used as the fusion toxin C2IN-C3 (where C2IN is part of the C2I toxin of C. botulinum). Incubation of the cells with C2IN-C3 disrupted cytosolic actin stress fibres, but had no effect on Cox-2 induction. Similarly, activation of p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase), an upstream step in Cox-2 induction, was inhibited by toxin B, but not affected by C2IN-C3. Upon treatment with toxin B, focal adhesion kinase and paxillin were dephosphorylated at tyrosine residues and the actin cytoskeleton was completely destroyed. An intact cytoskeleton, however, was not required for p42/44 MAP-kinase activation or Cox-2 induction, as shown by the actin-depolymerizing agent cytochalasin D. Toxin B did not influence functionality of LPA receptors, because G(i)-mediated Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores remained unchanged. Within 1 h, toxin B inactivated and translocated RhoA and Cdc42 to the cellular membranes. Within the same time frame, monoglucosylated Rac1 was degraded. Direct stimulation of Rho proteins by cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1 (CNF1) induced Cox-2 expression, which was sensitive to inhibition of the MAP-kinase pathway by PD98059, but not to an inhibitor of RhoA kinase. By exclusion of RhoA and non-specific cytoskeletal effects, the results in the present study indicate an important role for Rac and/or Cdc42 in pertussis toxin-sensitive LPA-mediated Cox-2 induction.
Project description:Clostridium botulinum type C and D strains produce exoenzyme C3, which ADP-ribosylates the Rho protein, a 21-kDa regulatory GTP-binding protein. In a previous work, we demonstrated that the C3 gene is encoded by bacteriophages C and D of C. botulinum by using DNA-DNA hybridizations with oligonucleotides deduced from the C3 protein N-terminal sequence. The C3 coding gene was cloned and sequenced, but its upstream DNA region could not be studied because of its instability in Escherichia coli. In this work, the upstream DNA region of the C3 gene was directly amplified by the polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. The C3 gene encodes a polypeptide of 251 amino acids (27,823 Da) consisting of a 40-amino-acid signal peptide and a mature protein of 211 amino acids (23,546 Da). The C3 mature protein was expressed in E. coli under the control of the trc promoter. The recombinant polypeptide obtained was recognized by C3 antibodies and ADP-ribosylated the Rho protein. The C3 gene nucleotide sequence is identical on C and D phage DNAs. At the amino acid sequence level, no similarity was found among C3, other ADP-ribosylating toxins, or tetanus or botulinal A, C1, and D neurotoxins.
Project description:Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein (NOD)1 and NOD2 participate in signaling pathways that detect pathogen-induced processes, such as the presence of peptidoglycan fragments in the host cell cytosol, as danger signals. Recent work suggests that peptidoglycan fragments activate NOD1 indirectly, through activation of the small Rho GTPase Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1). Excessive activation of small Rho GTPases by virulence factors of enteric pathogens also triggers the NOD1 signaling pathway. Many enteric pathogens use virulence factors that alter the activation state of small Rho GTPases, thereby manipulating the host cell cytoskeleton of intestinal epithelial cells to promote bacterial attachment or entry. These data suggest that the NOD1 signaling pathway in intestinal epithelial cells provides an important sentinel function for detecting 'breaking and entering' by enteric pathogens.
Project description:Dendrimers are unique highly branched macromolecules with numerous groundbreaking biomedical applications under development. Here we identified poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers as novel blockers for the pore-forming B components of the binary anthrax toxin (PA63) and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin (C2IIa). These pores are essential for delivery of the enzymatic A components of the internalized toxins from endosomes into the cytosol of target cells. We demonstrate that at low ?M concentrations cationic PAMAM dendrimers block PA63 and C2IIa to inhibit channel-mediated transport of the A components, thereby protecting HeLa and Vero cells from intoxication. By channel reconstitution and high-resolution current recording, we show that the PAMAM dendrimers obstruct transmembrane PA63 and C2IIa pores in planar lipid bilayers at nM concentrations. These findings suggest a new potential role for the PAMAM dendrimers as effective polyvalent channel-blocking inhibitors, which can protect human target cells from intoxication with binary toxins from pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), a member of the Rho GTPase family which plays important roles in dendritic spine morphology and plasticity, is a key regulator of cytoskeletal reorganization in dendrites and spines. Here, we investigated whether and how Rac1 modulates synaptic transmission in mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) using selective conditional knockout of Rac1 (Rac1-cKO). Rac1-cKO significantly reduced the frequency of AMPA receptor-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, while glycine/GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents were not affected. Although the total GluA1 protein level was increased in Rac1-cKO mice, its expression in the membrane component was unchanged. Rac1-cKO did not affect spine-like branch density in single dendrites, but significantly reduced the dendritic complexity, which resulted in a decrease in the total number of dendritic spine-like branches. These results suggest that Rac1 selectively affects excitatory synaptic transmission in RGCs by modulating dendritic complexity.
Project description:C3 exoenzymes from bacterial pathogens ADP-ribosylate and inactivate low-molecular-mass GTPases of the Rho subfamily. Ral, a Ras subfamily GTPase, binds the C3 exoenzymes from Clostridium botulinum and C. limosum with high affinity without being a substrate for ADP ribosylation. In the complex, the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of C3 is blocked, while binding of NAD and NAD-glycohydrolase activity remain. Here we report the crystal structure of C3 from C. botulinum in a complex with GDP-bound RalA at 1.8 A resolution. C3 binds RalA with a helix-loop-helix motif that is adjacent to the active site. A quaternary complex with NAD suggests a mode for ADP-ribosyltransferase inhibition. Interaction of C3 with RalA occurs at a unique interface formed by the switch-II region, helix alpha3 and the P loop of the GTPase. C3-binding stabilizes the GDP-bound conformation of RalA and blocks nucleotide release. Our data indicate that C. botulinum exoenzyme C3 is a single-domain toxin with bifunctional properties targeting Rho GTPases by ADP ribosylation and Ral by a guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor-like effect, which blocks nucleotide exchange.
Project description:The translocation of the small GTP-binding protein Rho from the cytosolic to membrane-bound form is an early step in many cellular signal-transduction events, but little is known regarding the mechanism of Rho association with the plasma membrane. We have used membranes from human erythrocytes to uncover a novel class of integral membrane components involved in the Rho-membrane association. Membranes of human erythrocytes contain several proteins of the Ras superfamily. Using specific antibodies and C3 exoenzyme of Clostridium botulinum we have identified one of them as RhoA. This protein was detected in both cytosol and membrane fractions of hypotonically lysed erythrocytes. We found that cytosolic Rho bound specifically to the cytoplasmic surface of the erythrocyte membrane and that the translocation of Rho to the membrane was absolutely dependent on the prior incubation of the cytosol with guanosine 5'--gamma-thio-triphosphate (1-50 microM) at low Mg2+ concentration. Rho binding sites could not be extracted from the membrane using conditions that extracted all other peripheral proteins and were unaffected by heat treatment and protease digestion. Rho binding was saturable, with a Kd in the range 1-5.0 nM, and the number of binding sites was estimated to be approx. (1-2) x 10(3) sites per cell. This is the first report of Rho binding to integral membrane components. The identity of these components may reveal novel aspects of the mechanism by which Rho exerts its multiple biochemical effects.