Anthrax toxin receptors act as molecular clamps or switches that control anthrax toxin entry, pH-dependent pore formation, and translocation of enzymatic moieties across the endosomal membranes. We previously reported that reduction of the disulfide bonds in the immunoglobulin-like (Ig) domain of the anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) inhibited the function of the protective antigen (PA) pore. In the present study, the disulfide linkage in the Ig domain was identified as Cys255-Cys279 and Cys230-Cys315. Specific disulfide bond deletion mutants were achieved by replacing Cys residues with Ala residues. Deletion of the disulfide bond C255-C279, but not C230-C315, inhibited the PA pore-induced release of the fluorescence dyes from the liposomes, suggesting that C255-C279 is essential for PA pore function. Furthermore, we found that deletion of C255-C279 did not affect PA prepore-to-pore conversion, but inhibited PA pore membrane insertion by trapping the PA membrane-inserting loops in proteinaceous hydrophobic pockets. Fluorescence spectra of Trp59, a residue adjacent to the PA-binding motif in vonWillebrand factor A (VWA) domain of ANTXR2, showed that deletion of C255-C279 resulted in a significant conformational change on the receptor ectodomain. The disulfide deletion-induced conformational change on the VWA domain was further confirmed by single-particle 3D reconstruction of the negatively stained PA-receptor heptameric complexes. Together, the biochemical and structural data obtained in this study provides a mechanistic insight into the role of the receptor disulfide bond C255-C279 in anthrax toxin action. Manipulation of the redox states of the receptor, specifically targeting to C255-C279, may become a novel strategy to treat anthrax.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)