1887

Abstract

The cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) are characterized by an undecapeptide sequence (ECTGLAWEWWR) that is located near the C terminus and within domain 4 of these proteins. Pyolysin (PLO), the CDC of , has a variant undecapeptide sequence (ETGLAWWW). Site-directed mutants were constructed in undecapeptide residues in a recombinant PLO molecule containing a hexahistidine tag (His-PLO). Mutations in each of the three undecapeptide tryptophan residues resulted in low haemolytic activity, confirming the importance of these residues in the protein. Deletion of a proline residue (P), inserted in PLO, or substitution of this residue with either phenylalanine or glycine resulted in mutant proteins with undetectable or low haemolytic activities, indicating that P is essential for His-PLO haemolytic activity. Substitution of the PLO undecapeptide sequence with a consensus undecapeptide resulted in a His-PLO protein with only 01% activity, confirming that the variant PLO undecapeptide is required for the full cytolytic activity of this toxin. The presence of the conserved undecapeptide cysteine residue either alone (His-PLO.C) or in a consensus sequence resulted in His-PLO molecules which were activated in the presence of reducing compounds, confirming the importance of this residue in the thiol-activated nature of many CDC toxins. The ability of His-PLO mutant proteins to bind cholesterol mimicked haemolytic activity, with the exception of His-PLO.C, which, despite having reduced haemolytic activity, showed an increased ability to bind cholesterol compared to His-PLO. Despite reductions in haemolytic activity and cholesterol-binding, all mutant proteins were still able to bind to erythrocyte membranes, suggesting that other regions of PLO may recognize host-cell membranes, through receptors other than cholesterol.

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2002-12-01
2020-09-25
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