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Cytolethal distending toxin B as a cell-killing component of tumor-targeted anthrax toxin fusion proteins

Bachran, C;Hasikova, R;Leysath, CE;Sastalla, I;Zhang, Y;Fattah, RJ;Liu, S;Leppla, SH;

Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is produced by Gram-negative bacteria of several species. It is composed of three subunits, CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC, with CdtB being the catalytic subunit. We fused CdtB from Haemophilus ducreyi to the N-terminal 255 amino acids of Bacillus anthracis toxin lethal factor (LFn) to design a novel, potentially potent antitumor drug. As a result of this fusion, CdtB was transported into the cytosol of targeted cells via the efficient delivery mechanism of anthrax toxin. The fusion protein efficiently killed various human tumor cell lines by first inducing a complete cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase, followed by induction of apoptosis. The fusion protein showed very low toxicity in mouse experiments and impressive antitumor effects in a Lewis Lung carcinoma model, with a 90% cure rate. This study demonstrates that efficient drug delivery by a modified anthrax toxin system combined with the enzymatic activity of CdtB has great potential as anticancer treatment and should be considered for the development of novel anticancer drugs.