The role of membrane-bound metal ions in toxicity of a human cancer cell-active pore-forming toxin Cry41Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis

Domanska, Barbara, Fortea, Eva, West, Michelle J, Schwartz, Jean-Louis and Crickmore, Neil (2019) The role of membrane-bound metal ions in toxicity of a human cancer cell-active pore-forming toxin Cry41Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis. Toxicon. ISSN 0041-0101

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Abstract

Bacillus thuringiensis crystal (Cry) proteins, used for decades as insecticidal toxins, are well known to be toxic to certain insects, but not to mammals. A novel group of Cry toxins called parasporins possess a strong cytocidal activity against some human cancer cells. Cry41Aa, or parasporin3, closely resembles commercially used insecticidal toxins and yet is toxic to the human hepatic cancer cell line HepG2, disrupting membranes of susceptible cells, similar to its insecticidal counterparts. In this study, we explore the protective effect that the common divalent metal chelator EGTA exerts on Cry41Aa's activity on HepG2 cells. Our results indicate that rather than interfering with a signalling pathway as a result of chelating cations in the medium, the chelator prevented the toxin's interaction with the membrane, and thus the subsequent steps of membrane damage and p38 phosphorylation, by removing cations bound to plasma membrane components. BAPTA and DTPA also inhibited Cry41Aa toxicity but at higher concentrations. We also show for the first time that Cry41Aa induces pore formation in planar lipid bilayers. This activity is not altered by EGTA, consistent with a biological context of chelation. Salt supplementation assays identified Ca2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ as being able to reinstate Cry41Aa activity. Our data suggest the existence of one or more metal cation-dependent receptors in the Cry41Aa mechanism of action.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0501 Animal biochemistry > QP0551 Proteins, amino acids, etc.
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR0075 Bacteria
Depositing User: Neil Crickmore
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 11:40
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 12:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84299

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