Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins

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Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins areClostridium difficiletoxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to theClostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens includingEscherichia coli,Yersinia,PhotorhabdusandLegionellaspecies produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

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