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Pore forming activity of the potent RTX-toxin produced by pediatric pathogen Kingella kingae: Characterization and comparison to other RTX-family members.

Bárcena-Uribarri, Iván; Benz, Roland; Winterhalter, Mathias; Zakharian, Eleonora; Balashova, Nataliya.
Biochim Biophys Acta; 1848(7): 1536-44, 2015 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25858109
Pediatric septic arthritis in patients under age of four is frequently caused by the oral Gram-negative bacterium Kingella kingae. This organism may be responsible for a severe form of infective endocarditis in otherwise healthy children and adults. A major virulence factor of K. kingae is RtxA, a toxin that belongs to the RTX (Repeats-in-ToXin) group of secreted pore forming toxins. To understand the RtxA effects on host cell membranes, the toxin activity was studied using planar lipid bilayers. K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain, KKNB100, were tested for their ability to form pores in artificial membranes of asolectin/n-decane. RtxA, purified from PYKK081, was able to rapidly form pores with an apparent diameter of 1.9nm as measured by the partition of nonelectrolytes in the pores. The RtxA channels are cation-selective and showed strong voltage-dependent gating. In contrast to supernatants of PYKK081, those of KKNB100 did not show any pore forming activity. We concluded that RtxA toxin is the only secreted protein from K. kingae forming large channels in host cell membranes where it induces cation flux leading to programmed cell death. Furthermore, our findings suggested that the planar lipid bilayer technique can effectively be used to test possible inhibitors of RTX toxin activity and to investigate the mechanism of the toxin binding to the membrane.
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