Anthrax Toxins

Recent research with anthrax toxins

April 14, 2022

By: admin

Anthrax toxin can enter living cells and the toxin enzymes, Lethal Factor (LF), and Edema Factor (EF) make known changes.  Because of this activity, anthrax toxins are valuable tools to investigate cell processes.  Some of the work currently accomplished with these toxins can be described by the following selected references: 

  • Work with anthrax toxins is providing a better understanding of cellular processes. Protectative Antigen (PA) binds specifically to two toxin receptors, tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8, also called ANTXR1) and capillary morphogenesis 2 (CMG2, or ANTXR2).  Several other factors are involved in the internalization of anthrax toxin. 

Abrami L, Bischofberger M, Kunz B, Groux R, van der Goot FG (2010) Endocytosis of the Anthrax Toxin Is Mediated by Clathrin, Actin and Unconventional Adaptors. PLoS Pathog 6(3): e1000792. PMID:  20221438 

  • Anthrax vaccines are currently under development and demonstration that antibodies will neutralize anthrax toxin is essential. 

Laws TR, Kuchuloria T, Chitadze N, et al (2016) A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines. PLoS One 11(3):e0148713. Published 2016 Mar 23. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148713 PMID: 27007118 

  • PA could potentially deliver polypeptides and compounds to the cell cytoplasm. In the two studies described in the following papers, PA was used as a tool to deliver biochemicals to the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. 

Dyer PDR, Shepherd TR, Gollings AS et al (2015) Disarmed anthrax toxin delivers antisense oligonucleotides and siRNA with high efficiency and low toxicity. J. Control. Release 2015, 220, 316–328. PMID: 26546271 

Rabideau, AE, Liao XL, Akcay G, Pentelute BL (2015) Translocation of Non-Canonical Polypeptides into Cells Using Protective Antigen. Sci Rep 5: 11944, PMID:26178180, PMCID: PMC 4503955 

  • PA has been used to target cancer cells overexpressing TEM8. This receptor has been shown to be upregulated during tumor angiogenesis and provides a convenient target for anti-angiogenic therapy.  

Chen KH, Liu S, Bankston LA, Liddington RC, Leppla SH (2007) Selection of anthrax toxin protective antigen variants that discriminate between the cellular receptors TEM8 and CMG2 and achieve targeting of tumor cells. J Biol Chem 282: 9834–9845. PMID: 17251181, PMCID: PMC2530824 

Chaudhary A, Hilton MB, Seaman S, et al (2012) TEM8/ANTXR1 blockade inhibits pathological angiogenesis and potentiates tumoricidal responses against multiple cancer types. Cancer Cell 21:212–226. PMID: 22340594 PMCID: PMC3289547 

To learn more about how our highly purified Anthrax Toxins were used in research, check out our over 200 Anthrax Toxin citations. 


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