: Received: 18 December 2018 / Approved: 19 December 2018 / Online: 19 December 2018 (16:20:44 CET)
: Received: 28 January 2019 / Approved: 28 January 2019 / Online: 28 January 2019 (15:23:24 CET)
Heggelund, J.E.; Heim, J.B.; Bajc, G.; Hodnik, V.; Anderluh, G.; Krengel, U. Specificity of Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Enterotoxin Investigated by Single-Site Mutagenesis and Crystallography. Int. J. Mol. Sci.2019, 20, 703.
Heggelund, J.E.; Heim, J.B.; Bajc, G.; Hodnik, V.; Anderluh, G.; Krengel, U. Specificity of Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Enterotoxin Investigated by Single-Site Mutagenesis and Crystallography. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 703.
Diarrhoea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli is one of the leading causes of mortality in children under five years of age and is a great burden on developing countries. The major virulence factor of the bacterium is the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT), a close homologue of the cholera toxin. The toxins bind to carbohydrate receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to toxin uptake and, ultimately, to severe diarrhoea. Previously, LT from human- and porcine-infecting ETEC (hLT and pLT, respectively) were shown to have different carbohydrate-binding specificities, in particular with respect to N-acetyllactosamine-terminating glycosphingolipids. Here, we probed eleven single-residue variants of the heat-labile enterotoxin with surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and compared the data to the parent toxins. In addition we present a 1.45 Å crystal structure of pLTB in complex with branched Lacto-N-neohexaose (Galbeta4GlcNAcbeta6[Galbeta4GlcNAcbeta3]Galbeta4Glc). The largest difference in binding specificity is caused by mutation of residue 94, which links the primary and secondary binding sites of the toxins. Residue 95 (and to a smaller extent also residues 7 and 18) also contribute, whereas residue 4 shows no effect on monovalent binding of the ligand and may rather be important for multivalent binding and avidity.
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