The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces several potential virulence factors, including the ADP-ribosylating toxin, exotoxin A (PE). Studies using a burned mouse model have shown that PE consistently inhibits protein synthesis and depletes elongation factor 2 in mouse liver and variably in other organs. One reason for toxin sensitivity could be the presence of a PE receptor on the surface of cells. Therefore we examined detergent extracts of mouse tissues for the presence of toxin-binding proteins. Proteins which specifically bind PE were present in extracts from liver, kidney, lung, spleen, and heart. Because liver appears to be a prominent target for the toxin in a burned animal, we choose to isolate the PE-binding protein from mouse liver and compare this protein to the recently characterized toxin-binding protein from toxin-sensitive mouse LM fibroblasts. The toxin-binding proteins from both sources have a molecular mass of approximately 350 kDa, share similar protease digestion profiles, and are glycosylated. However the glycosylation patterns for the two species are quite different. Both glycoproteins bind toxin with high avidity. The toxin-binding moiety is located, at least in part, on the plasma membrane and thus could represent the receptor involved in internalization of toxin molecules responsible for cell death
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