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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of the cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) operon in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans: evidence that the CdtB protein is responsible for G2 arrest of the cell cycle in human T cells.

We have previously shown that Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans produces an immunosuppressive factor that is encoded by the cdtB gene, which is homologous to a family of cytolethal distending toxins (Cdt) expressed by several gram-negative bacteria. In this study, we report that the cdt locus in A. actinomycetemcomitans is composed of five open reading frames, designated orf1, orf2, cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC. The deduced amino acid sequences of the five open reading frames are highly conserved among A. actinomycetemcomitans strains 652, Y4, 29522, and HK1651. There is also strong homology with the Cdt proteins of Haemophilus ducreyi (87-91%), but only partial homology with that of Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli (29-48%). Analysis of A. actinomycetemcomitans mRNA by RT-PCR suggests that the two small open reading frames upstream of cdtA are coexpressed with cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC. We next utilized a series of plasmids that express various combinations of the cdt genes to determine their requirement for expression of immunoinhibitory activity. Cell extracts of E. coli transformed with each of the plasmids were tested for their capacity to induce G2 arrest in the cell cycle of PHA-activated human T cells. These experiments suggest that expression of cdtB alone is sufficient to induce G2 arrest in human T cells, but do not exclude the possibility that cdtC also contributes to cell cycle arrest. The implications of our results with respect to the function of the individual Cdt proteins are discussed.[1]


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