Common architecture of Tc toxins from human and insect pathogenic bacteria

Leidreiter F, Roderer D, Meusch D, Gatsogiannis C, R. Benz R, Raunser S (2019). Science Advances

doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax6497.

Bacteria have established various strategies to infect organisms. Some inject their poison by applying a special toxin complex, the TC Toxin. It consists of the three components TcA, TcB and TcC.

In this work the Rauser group presents high-resolution structures of five TcAs from insect and human pathogens, which show a similar overall composition and domain organization. Essential structural features suggest a common mechanism of action. All TcAs form functional pores and can be combined with TcB-TcC subunits from other species to form active chimeric holotoxins.

Structures of five TcAs (Pl-TcdA1, Pl-TcdA4, Xn-XptA1, Mm-TcdA4, and Yp-TcaATcaB) 

The color gradient from light to dark represents the pore domain with the TcB-binding domain, the α-helical shell, the β- sheet domains and the linker.

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