Defective mutations within the translocation domain ofClostridium difficiletoxin B impair disease pathogenesis

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The Clostridium difficile toxin B is one of the main virulence factors and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of C. difficile infection (CDI). We recently revealed crucial residues in the translocation domain of TcdB for the pore formation and toxin translocation. In this study, we investigated the effects of mutating a critical site involved in pore formation, Leu-1106, to residues that differ in size and polarity (Phe, Ala, Cys, Asp). We observed a broad range of effects on TcdB function in vitro consistent with the role of this site in pore formation and translocation. We show that mice challenged systemically with a lethal dose (LD100) of the most defective mutant (L1106K) showed no symptoms of disease highlighting the importance of this residue and the translocation domain in disease pathogenesis. These findings offer insights into the structure function of the toxin translocation pore, and inform novel therapeutic strategies against CDI.

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