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A Soluble Receptor Decoy Protects Rats against Anthrax Lethal Toxin Challenge

Scobie HM, Thomas D, Marlett JM, Destito G, Wigelsworth DJ, Collier RJ, Young JA, Manchester M

Successful postexposure treatment for inhalation anthrax is thought to include neutralization of anthrax toxin. The soluble anthrax toxin receptor/tumor endothelial marker 8 and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (sATR/TEM8 and sCMG2, respectively) receptor decoys bind to anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) and compete with cellular receptors for binding. Here, we show that, in a tissue-culture model of intoxication, sCMG2 is a 11.4-fold more potent antitoxin than sATR/TEM8 and that this increased activity corresponds to an approximately 1000-fold higher PA-binding affinity. Stoichiometric concentrations of sCMG2 protect rats against lethal toxin challenge, making sCMG2 one of the most effective anthrax antitoxins described to date.