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COPI coatomer complex proteins facilitate the translocation of anthrax lethal factor across vesicular membranes in vitro

By Alfred G. Tamayo, Ajit Bharti, Carolina Trujillo, Robert Harrison and John R. Murphy


The delivery of the diphtheria toxin catalytic domain (DTA) from acidified endosomes into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells requires protein–protein interactions between the toxin and a cytosolic translocation factor (CTF) complex. A conserved peptide motif, T1, within the DT transmembrane helix 1 mediates these interactions. Because the T1 motif is also present in the N-terminal segments of lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF) in anthrax toxin, we asked whether LF entry into the cell might also be facilitated by target cell cytosolic proteins. In this study, we have used LFnDTA and its associated ADP-ribosyltransferase activity (DTA) to determine the requirements for LF translocation from the lumen of endosomal vesicles to the external medium in vitro. Although low-level release of LFnDTA from enriched endosomal vesicles occurs in the absence of added factors, translocation was enhanced by the addition of cytosolic proteins and ATP to the reaction mixture. We show by GST-LFn pull-down assays that LFn specifically interacts with at least ζ-COP and β-COP of the COPI coatomer complex. Immunodepletion of COPI coatomer complex and associated proteins from cytosolic extracts blocks in vitro LFnDTA translocation. Translocation may be reconstituted by the addition of partially purified bovine COPI to the translocation assay mixture. Taken together, these data suggest that the delivery of LF to the cytosol requires either COPI coatomer complex or a COPI subcomplex for translocation from the endosomal lumen. This facilitated delivery appears to use a mechanism that is analogous to that of DT entry

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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