Purification and characterization of type II heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli

R. K. Holmes, E. M. Twiddy, C. L. Pickett

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44 Scopus citations


Type II heat-labile enterotoxin (LT-II) of Escherichia coli has several biologic activities similar to cholera toxin (CT) and E. coli type I heat-labile enterotoxin (LT-I), but it is not neutralized by antiserum prepared against CT or LT-I. LT-II was purified from E. coli SA53 and from E. coli HB101 (pCP3837), a strain that contains the cloned LT-II genes in a hybrid plasmid and produces up to 600 times more LT-II than does SA53. Purification involved sonic disruption of bacterial cells, ammonium sulfate fractionation, chromatography on Affi-Gel Blue, chromatofocusing, and gel filtration on Sephadex G-100. The LT-II purified to apparent homogeneity from HB101 (pCP3837) had an isoelectric point of 6.8, induced increased vascular permeability in rabbit intracutaneous tests, caused rounding of cultured Y1 adrenal cells accompanied by increased intracellular cyclic AMP, and was 25 to 50 times more potent than CT or LT-I in the Y1 adrenal-cell assay. In contrast, purified LT-II did not cause secretion in ligated rabbit ileal segments at does corresponding to CT controls that gave strongly positive reactions. LT-II was composed of two different polypeptides with M(r)s of 28,000 (A) and 11,800 (B); treatment of LT-II with trypsin cleaved the A polypeptide to fragments A1 (M(r), 21,000) and A2 (M(r), 7,000). The activity of LT-II was not blocked by ganglioside GM1 at concentrations that inactivated LT-I or CT. Antiserum against the LT-II from E. coli BH101 (pCP3837) completely neutralized purified LT-II and the LT-II in crude extracts of SA53, but it did not neutralize purified LT-I or CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-473
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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