Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.357, No.1, 144-149, 2007
Structural requirements for furin-induced cleavage and activation of Shiga toxin
Shiga toxin has a protease-sensitive site in the disulfide loop region of the A-chain. Cleavage of this site by furin is essential for rapid intoxication of cells by Shiga toxin. We have here investigated whether in addition to the Arg-X-X-Arg sequence, there are other structural requirements in the disulfide loop region for furin cleavage. A toxin mutant (Shiga-2D toxin) still containing the consensus motif for cleavage by furin, but lacking ten amino acids in the disulfide loop, was generated. Trypsin was able to cleave Shiga-2D toxin in vitro, demonstrating that the protease-sensitive region is intact. However, Shiga-2D toxin was not efficiently cleaved by furin either in vitro or in vivo. Furthermore, unless it was precleaved with trypsin, Shiga-2D toxin was much less toxic than wild type Shiga toxin in LoVo cells expressing functional furin. In contrast, LoVo/neo cells lacking functional furin were unable to activate both wild type Shiga toxin and Shiga-2D toxin. In conclusion, an extended loop structure is required for furin-induced cleavage of Shiga toxin. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.