Sticholysin I (St I) is a potent cytolytic polypeptide purified from the Caribbean sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus. The hemolytic activity of sticholysin is potentiated by its preincubation at high ionic strengths. In the present work the mechanism of the potentiating action of the medium ionic strength on the toxin hemolytic capacity is investigated. It is suggested that preincubation with high saline concentration induces a transition of St I to a more relaxed conformation that facilitates the lytic process.
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