Interaction of Clostridium difficile toxin A with cultured cells: Cytoskeletal changes and nuclear polarization

C. Fiorentini, W. Malorni, S. Paradisi, M. Giuliano, P. Mastrantonio, G. Donelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experiments done on in vitro-cultured cells exposed to toxin A from C. difficile showed a series of cytopathologic changes leading to cell retraction and rounding accompanied by the marginalization of the nucleus, which localized at one pole of the cell. Cytoskeleton appeared to be strongly involved in such modifications. In particular, the microfilament system seemed to be involved in cell retraction, while microtubule network integrity and function seemed to be necessary for the nuclear displacement. The carboxylic ionophore monensin completely blocked the cytopathic effect when added with the toxin. The serine protease inhibitor chymostatin appeared to be protective also upon addition long after the end of the binding step. The Ca2+-dependent cytosolic protease inhibitors antipain and leupeptin were uneffective in protecting cells. Thus, our results suggest the involvement of an acidic compartment and the action of a serine protease in toxin A-induced cytopathic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2329-2336
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume58
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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