Citation

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Cationic PAMAM dendrimers as pore-blocking binary toxin inhibitors

Frstner, P;Bayer, F;Kalu, N;Felsen, S;Frtsch, C;Aloufi, A;Ng, DY;Weil, T;Nestorovich, EM;Barth, H;

Dendrimers are unique highly branched macromolecules with numerous groundbreaking biomedical applications under development. Here we identified poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers as novel blockers for the pore-forming B components of the binary anthrax toxin (PA63) and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin (C2IIa). These pores are essential for delivery of the enzymatic A components of the internalized toxins from endosomes into the cytosol of target cells. We demonstrate that at low M concentrations cationic PAMAM dendrimers block PA63 and C2IIa to inhibit channel-mediated transport of the A components, thereby protecting HeLa and Vero cells from intoxication. By channel reconstitution and high-resolution current recording, we show that the PAMAM dendrimers obstruct transmembrane PA63 and C2IIa pores in planar lipid bilayers at nM concentrations. These findings suggest a new potential role for the PAMAM dendrimers as effective polyvalent channel-blocking inhibitors, which can protect human target cells from intoxication with binary toxins from pathogenic bacteria.