Cytolethal distending toxins

Authors: K. Čurová;  M. Kmeťová;  L. Siegfried
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav lekárskej a klinickej mikrobiológie UPJŠ LF a UN LP Košice
Published in: Epidemiol. Mikrobiol. Imunol. 63, 2014, č. 2, s. 134-139
Category: Review articles, original papers, case report


Cytolethal distending toxins (CDT) are intracellularly acting proteins which interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with affinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various mammalian diseases. The functional toxin is composed of three proteins: CdtB entering the nucleus and by its nuclease activity inducing nuclear fragmentation and chromatin disintegration, CdtA, and CdtC, the two latter being responsible for toxin attachment to the surface of the target cell. Cytotoxic effect of CDT leads to the cell cycle arrest before the cell enters mitosis and to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Thus, CDT may function as a virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria that produce it and thus may contribute to the initiation of certain diseases. Most important are inflammatory bowel diseases caused by intestinal bacteria, periodontitis with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as the aetiologic agent and ulcus molle where Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent.

cytolethal distending toxin – CDT – virulence factor – Gram-negative bacteria


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