Partial purification and characterization of an Escherichia coli toxic factor that induces morphological cell alterations

A. Caprioli, V. Falbo, L. G. Roda, F. M. Ruggeri, C. Zona

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A factor produced by several strains of Escherichia coli isolated from enteritis-affected children has been shown to produce both a necrotizing effect on rabbit skin and striking morphological alterations on CHO, Vero, and HeLa cells. The same strains were found to have hemolytic activity on sheep erythrocytes. The toxic, cell-altering factor was demonstrated to be different from both heat-labile and heat-stable enterotoxins and from Vero toxin. The main effect induced by the isolated factor on cultured cells was the formation of large multinucleated cells. The partial purification achieved suggests that the same factor (most likely a protein with a molecular weight of 70,000 to 80,000) is responsible for toxic and cell-altering activities, whereas a different molecular species is responsible for hemolytic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1306
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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