Infection of children with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the leading cause of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Stx2, one of two toxins liberated by the bacteria, is directly linked with HUS. We have previously shown that Stx2-specific human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) protect mice and piglets from fatal systemic complications of Stx2. The present study investigates the mechanisms by which our most efficacious A- and B-subunit-specific HuMAbs neutralize the cytotoxic effects of Stx2 in vitro. Whereas the B-subunit-specific HuMAb 5H8 blocked binding of Stx2 to its receptor on the cell surface, the A-subunit-specific HuMAb 5C12 did not interfere with the toxin-receptor binding. Further investigations revealed that 5C12 did not block endocytosis of Stx2 by HeLa cells as both Stx2 and 5C12 colocalized with early endosomes. However, 5C12 blocked the retrograde transport of the toxin into the Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum, preventing the toxin from entering the cytosol where the toxin exerts its cytotoxic effect. The endocytosed 5C12/Stx2 complexes appear to be rapidly transported to the plasma membrane and/or to the slow recycling perinuclear compartments, followed by their slow recycling to the plasma membrane, and release into the extracellular environment.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious complication predominantly associated with infection by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), such as E. coli O157:H7. EHEC can produce Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) and/or Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), both of which are exotoxins comprised of active (A) and binding (B) subunits. In piglets and mice, Stx can induce fatal neurological symptoms. Polyclonal Stx2 antiserum can prevent these effects in piglets infected with the Stx2-producing E. coli O157:H7 strain 86-24. Human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) against Stx2 were developed as potential passive immunotherapeutic reagents for the prevention and/or treatment of HUS. Transgenic mice bearing unrearranged human immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy and κ light chain loci (HuMAb___Mouse) were immunized with formalin-inactivated Stx2. Thirty-seven stable hybridomas secreting Stx2-specific HuMAbs were isolated: 33 IgG1κ A-subunit-specific and 3 IgG1κ and 1 IgG3κ B-subunit-specific antibodies. Six IgG1κ A-subunit-specific (1G3, 2F10, 3E9, 4H9, 5A4, and 5C12) and two IgG1κ B-subunit-specific (5H8 and 6G3) HuMAbs demonstrated neutralization of >95% activity of 1 ng of Stx2 in the presence of 0.04 μg of HuMAb in vitro and significant prolongation of survival of mice given 50 μg of HuMAb intraperitoneally (i.p.) and 25 ng of Stx2 intravenously. When administered i.p. to gnotobiotic piglets 6 or 12 h after infection with E. coli O157:H7 strain 86-24, HuMAbs 2F10, 3E9, 5H8, and 5C12 prolonged survival and prevented development of fatal neurological signs and cerebral lesions. The Stx2-neutralizing ability of these HuMAbs could potentially be used clinically to passively protect against HUS development in individuals infected with Stx-producing bacteria, including E. coli O157:H7.
Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), one of two Stx liberated by Stx-producing Escherichia coli, is composed of an A subunit monomer and a B subunit pentamer, and is directly linked with hemolytic uremic syndrome in children. The pentameric B subunit binds to its cell surface receptor Gb3 for toxin internalization, and the A subunit follows intracellular retrograde transport to the cytosol where its RNA N-glycosidase activity (RNA-NGA) shuts down the protein synthesis, and leads to cell death. The present study investigated the ability of 19 Stx2 A subunit-specific human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) to neutralize the RNA-NGA, and the association this neutralizing activity with protection of HeLa cells and mice against Stx2-induced death.
The HuMAbs that were stronger inhibitors of RNA-NGA were also better at neutralizing Stx2 mediated HeLa cell death, and those that were weaker inhibitors of RNA-NGA activity were also weaker in protecting HeLa cells. These results suggest that the ability of an A subunit-specific antibody to block the RNA-NGA of the toxin is directly related to its ability to neutralize Stx2-mediated HeLa cell death. However, with the exception of the best RNA-NGA blocking antibodies 5C12 and 2F10, the efficacies of antibody neutralization of RNA-NGA of Stx2 did not correlate with their in vivo protective efficacies. The HuMAb 6C3, which neutralized RNA N-glycosidase activity of Stx2 less effectively than the HuMAbs 6D8 and 6B7, protected 100% of the mice against Stx2 challenge at 50 μg/mouse dose. In contrast, the HuMAbs 6D8 and 6B7, which neutralized RNA N-glycosidase activity of Stx2 more effectively than 6C3, protected 20% and 0% mice at that dose, respectively.
The neutralization efficiency of the RNA-NGA of Stx2 by A subunit-specific antibodies correlate strongly with their abilities to protect HeLa cells against Stx2-mediated toxicity but only the strongest RNA-NGA-neutralizing antibodies correlate very well with both protecting HeLa cells and mice against Stx2 challenge.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are responsible for causing hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and systemic administration of Shiga toxin (Stx)-specific human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) is considered a promising approach for prevention or treatment of the disease in children. The goal of the present study was to investigate the ability of Stx2-specific HuMAbs to protect against infections with STEC strains that produce Stx2 variants. Dose-response studies on five HuMAbs, using the mouse toxicity model, revealed that only the three directed against the A subunit were protective against Stx2 variants, and 5C12 was the most effective among the three tested. Two HuMAbs directed against the B subunit, while highly effective against Stx2, were ineffective against Stx2 variants. In a streptomycin-treated mouse model, parenteral administration of 5C12 significantly protected mice up to 48 h after oral bacterial challenge. We conclude that 5C12, reactive against the Stx2 A subunit, is an excellent candidate for immunotherapy against HUS and that antibodies directed against the A subunit of Stx2 have broad-spectrum activity that includes Stx2 variants, compared with those directed against the B subunit.
Infection of children with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can lead to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in 5 to 10% of patients. Stx2, one of two toxins liberated by the bacterium, is directly linked with HUS. We have previously shown that Stx-specific human monoclonal antibodies protect STEC-infected animals from fatal systemic complications. The present study defines the protective antibody dose in relation to the time of treatment after the onset of diarrhea in infected gnotobiotic piglets. Using the mouse toxicity model, we selected 5C12, an antibody specific for the A subunit, as the most effective Stx2 antibody for further characterization in the piglet model in which piglets developed diarrhea 16 to 40 h after bacterial challenge, followed by fatal neurological symptoms at 48 to 96 h. Seven groups of piglets received doses of 5C12 ranging from 6.0 mg/kg to 0.05 mg/kg of body weight, administered parenterally 48 h after bacterial challenge. The minimum fully protective antibody dose was 0.4 mg/kg, and the corresponding serum antibody concentration in these piglets was 0.7 μg (±0.5)/ml, measured 7 to 14 days after administration. Of 40 infected animals which received Stx2 antibody treatment of ≥0.4 mg/kg, 34 (85%) survived, while only 1 (2.5%) of 39 placebo-treated animals survived. We conclude that the administration of the Stx2-specific antibody was protective against fatal systemic complications even when it was administered well after the onset of diarrhea. These findings suggest that children treated with this antibody, even after the onset of bloody diarrhea, may be equally protected against the risk of developing HUS.
5C12 HuMAb is a human monoclonal antibody against the A subunit of Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2). We have previously shown that 5C12 HuMAb effectively neutralizes the cytotoxic effects of this toxin by redirecting its transport within the cell and also by neutralizing the toxin's ability to inhibit protein synthesis. The 5C12 HuMAb and its recombinant IgG1 version protect mice at a dose of 0.6 μg against a lethal challenge of Stx2. The contribution of the Fc region to this observed neutralization activity of the 5C12 antibody against Stx2 was investigated in this study. Using recombinant DNA technology, 5C12 isotype variants (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4) and antibody fragments [Fab, F(ab′)2] were expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. All four 5C12 isotype variants showed protection in vitro, with the IgG3 and IgG4 variants showing the highest protection in vivo. The Fab and F(ab′)2 fragments also showed protection in vitro but no protection in the mouse toxicity model. Similar results were obtained for a second HuMAb (5H8) against the B subunit of Stx2. The data suggest the importance of the Fc region for neutralization activity, but it is not clear if this is related to the stability of the full-length antibody or if the Fc region is required for effective elimination of the toxin from the body.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections can often lead to the development of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in a small percentage of infected humans. Patients with HUS receive only supportive treatment as the benefit of antibiotic therapy remains uncertain. We have previously reported the generation and preclinical evaluation of neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) against the Shiga toxins (Stx). In this paper, we describe the expression in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells of 5C12 HuMAb, which is directed against the A subunit of Stx2. The cDNAs of the light and heavy chain immunoglobulin (Ig) variable regions of 5C12 HuMAb were isolated and cloned into an expression vector containing human IgG1 constant regions. The vector was transfected into CHO cells, and transfectants secreting Stx2-specific antibody were screened by an Stx2-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The CHO-produced recombinant 5C12 (r5C12) showed similar specificity and binding affinity to Stx2 as the parent hybridoma-produced 5C12. More significantly, the r5C12 displayed the same neutralizing activity as the parent 5C12 in vitro and in vivo. In the mouse toxicity model, both antibodies significantly and equally prolonged survival at a dose of 0.312 μg/mouse. The data showed that since r5C12, produced in CHO cells, was equally effective as the parent 5C12, it is our choice candidate as a potential prophylactic or therapeutic agent against hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious complication which is predominantly associated in children with infection by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). By using HuMAb-Mouse (Medarex) animals, human monoclonal antibodies (Hu-MAbs) were developed against Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) for passive immunotherapy of HUS. Ten stable hybridomas comprised of fully human heavy- and light-chain immunoglobulin elements and secreting Stx1-specific Hu-MAbs (seven immunoglobulin M(κ) [IgM(κ)] elements [one specific for the A subunit and six specific for the B subunit] and three IgG1(κ) elements specific for subunit B) were isolated. Two IgM(κ) Hu-MAbs (2D9 and 15G9) and three IgG1(κ) Hu-MAbs (5A4, 10F4, and 15G2), all specific for subunit B, demonstrated marked neutralization of Stx1 in vitro and significant prolongation of survival in a murine model of Stx1 toxicosis.
Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are more frequently isolated from hemolytic-uremic syndrome cases than strains that produce Stx1 and Stx2, and rarely the strains that produce only Stx1. Studies have implicated Stx2 as the sole contributor to acute kidney failure and other systemic complications in humans, and our study adds further support to this assumption since Stx2- and Stx1-specific antibodies protected 100% and 0% of piglets, respectively, against an oral challenge with a Stx1- and Stx2-producing STEC strain. We conclude that Stx2-specific antibody is sufficient to protect piglets, and possibly humans, against STEC producing both toxins.
Shiga toxin; Stx; antibody; enterohemorrhagic; piglet; hemolytic uremic syndrome; kidney failure; E. coli
Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) is a major virulence factor in gastrointestinal diseases caused by Escherichia coli. Although Stx2a (prototypical Stx2) is well-studied, all seven subtypes of Stx2 have been associated with disease in mammals. Several subtypes of Stx2, including Stx2f, are difficult to detect immunologically.
Methods And Findings
Four novel monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the Stx2f subtype were produced and characterized. These mAbs react exclusively to the Stx2f A subunit, and do not cross-react with other subtypes of Stx2. A Stx2f-specific sandwich ELISA was established and a limit of detection of 0.123 ng/mL was obtained using one pair of the mAbs. The receptor preference of Stx2f was confirmed using this sandwich ELISA. Three out of four mAbs can partially neutralize the toxicity of Stx2f in a cell-based assay. These mAbs were also demonstrated to be highly specific and reactive when applied to colony immunoblot assays.
Novel mAbs specific to Stx2f were developed for the first time, providing new assets for the STEC community. Immunoassays with improved sensitivity and specificity will be useful for the detection of Stx2f present in food, environmental, and clinical samples.
Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2) produced by Escherichia coli O:157H7 can cause hemolytic-uremic syndrome in children, a disease for which there is neither a vaccine nor an effective treatment. This toxin consists of an enzymatically active A subunit and a pentameric B subunit responsible for the toxin binding to host cells, and also found to be immunogenic in rabbits. In this study we developed eukaryotic plasmids expressing the B subunit gene of Stx2 (pStx2B) and the B subunit plus the gene coding for the A subunit with an active-site deletion (pStx2ΔA). Transfection of eukaryotic cells with these plasmids produced proteins of the expected molecular weight which reacted with specific monoclonal antibodies. Newborn and adult BALB/c mice immunized with two intramuscular injections of each plasmid, either alone or together with the same vector expressing the granulocyte and monocyte colony-stimulating factor (pGM-CSF), elicited a specific Th1-biased humoral response. The effect of pGM-CSF as an adjuvant plasmid was particularly notable in newborn mice and in pStx2B-vaccinated adult mice. Stx2-neutralizing activity, evaluated in vitro on VERO cell monolayers, correlated with in vivo protection. This is the first report using plasmids to induce a neutralizing humoral immune response against the Stx2.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), the life-threatening complication following infection by the intestinal pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, is due to the ability of the pathogen to produce toxins in the Shiga toxin (Stx) family. Activated neutrophils are observed in HUS patients, yet it is unclear whether Stx exerts a direct effect on neutrophils or whether the toxin acts indirectly. The effect of Stx1 and Stx2 on human neutrophils was examined. Neither Stx1 nor Stx2 altered the rate of neutrophil apoptosis. Minimal binding of either toxin to neutrophils was observed, and the toxin was easily eluted from the cells. Stx1 and Stx2 were found to circulate in the plasma of mice following intravenous injection, and both toxins were cleared rapidly from the blood. Together these results suggest that neither Stx1 nor Stx2 interacts directly with neutrophils.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious disease in children, attributable in the majority of cases to infection with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli. Using gnotobiotic piglets orally infected with E. coli O157:H7, which develop Stx-related cerebellar lesions and fatal neurological symptoms, we show that administration of Stx2-specific antiserum well after challenge protected, in a dose-response fashion, against these symptoms for at least 24 h after bacterial challenge. Twenty-six of 30 piglets given Stx2 antiserum survived the challenge, compared to only 4 of 16 animals given control serum or saline. Given our observations in piglets, Stx antibody of human origin may likewise prevent HUS in children.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) results from infection by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli and is the most common cause of acute renal failure in children. We have developed a mouse model of HUS by administering endotoxin-free Stx2 in multiple doses over 7 to 8 days. At sacrifice, moribund animals demonstrated signs of HUS: increased blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, proteinuria, deposition of fibrin(ogen), glomerular endothelial damage, hemolysis, leukocytopenia, and neutrophilia. Increased expression of proinflammatory chemokines and cytokines in the sera of Stx2-treated mice indicated a systemic inflammatory response. Currently, specific therapeutics for HUS are lacking, and therapy for patients is primarily supportive. Mice that received 11E10, a monoclonal anti-Stx2 antibody, 4 days after starting injections of Stx2 recovered fully, displaying normal renal function and normal levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes. In addition, these mice showed decreased fibrin(ogen) deposition and expression of proinflammatory mediators compared to those of Stx2-treated mice in the absence of antibody. These results indicate that, when performed during progression of HUS, passive immunization of mice with anti-Stx2 antibody prevented the lethal effects of Stx2.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) causes hemorrhagic colitis in humans and, in a subgroup of infected subjects, a more serious condition called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). These conditions arise because EHEC produces two antigenically distinct forms of Shiga toxin (Stx), called Stx1 and Stx2. Despite this, the production of Stx2 by virtually all EHEC serotypes and the documented role this toxin plays in HUS make it an attractive vaccine candidate. Previously, we assessed the potential of a purified recombinant Stx2 B-subunit preparation to prevent Shigatoxemia in rabbits. This study revealed that effective immunization could be achieved only if endotoxin was included with the vaccine antigen. Since the presence of endotoxin would be unacceptable in a human vaccine, the object of the studies described herein was to investigate ways to safely augment, in mice, the immunogenicity of the recombinant Stx2 B subunit containing <1 endotoxin unit per ml. The study revealed that sera from mice immunized with such a preparation, conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin and administered with the Ribi adjuvant system, displayed the highest Shiga toxin 2 B-subunit-specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titers and cytotoxicity-neutralizing activities in Ramos B cells. As well, 100% of the mice vaccinated with this preparation were subsequently protected from a lethal dose of Stx2 holotoxin. These results support further evaluation of a Stx2 B-subunit-based human EHEC vaccine.
A monoclonal antibody (MAb) was raised against Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) of Escherichia coli O157:H7. MAb VTm1.1 belonged to the immunoglobulin G1 subclass and had a κ light chain, and it could neutralize the cytotoxic activity of Stx2 and variants derived from patient strains but not that of variants derived from animals. MAb VTm1.1 was shown to bind to the B subunit of these neutralized Stx2s by Western blotting. Comparison of B-subunit amino acid sequences and reactivities to these Stxs suggested six amino acids (Ser30, Ser53, Glu56, Gln65, Asn68, and Asp69) that were candidates for the MAb VTm1.1 epitope. Consequently, five Stx2 mutants (S30N, S53N, E56H, Q65K, and N68Ter) were prepared by site-directed mutagenesis to determine which residue is essential for the epitope. All of these mutants showed cytotoxicity almost equal to that of the wild-type Stx2. Of the five Stx2 mutants, only E56H could not be neutralized by MAb VTm1.1. Western blot analysis also showed that MAb VTm1.1 could not bind to the E56H B subunit. These results indicated that Glu56 is an important residue recognized by MAb VTm1.1. Immunofluorescence analysis further indicated that MAb VTm1.1 inhibits the binding of Stx2 to its receptors. MAb VTm1.1 could be a useful therapeutic agent for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection.
Monoclonal antibody (MAb) 11E10 recognizes the Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2) A1 subunit. The binding of 11E10 to Stx2 neutralizes both the cytotoxic and lethal activities of Stx2, but the MAb does not bind to or neutralize Stx1 despite the 61% identity and 75% similarity in the amino acids of the A1 fragments. In this study, we sought to identify the segment or segments on Stx2 that constitute the 11E10 epitope and to determine how recognition of that region by 11E10 leads to inactivation of the toxin. Toward those objectives, we generated a set of chimeric Stx1/Stx2 molecules and then evaluated the capacity of 11E10 to recognize those hybrid toxins by Western blot analyses and to neutralize them in Vero cell cytotoxicity assays. We also compared the amino acid sequences and crystal structures of Stx1 and Stx2 for stretches of dissimilarity that might predict a binding epitope on Stx2 for 11E10. Through these assessments, we concluded that the 11E10 epitope is comprised of three noncontiguous regions surrounding the Stx2 active site. To determine how 11E10 neutralizes Stx2, we examined the capacity of 11E10/Stx2 complexes to target ribosomes. We found that the binding of 11E10 to Stx2 prevented the toxin from inhibiting protein synthesis in an in vitro assay but also altered the overall cellular distribution of Stx2 in Vero cells. We propose that the binding of MAb 11E10 to Stx2 neutralizes the effects of the toxin by preventing the toxin from reaching and/or inactivating the ribosomes.
Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection is associated with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations that include diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Systemic Stx toxemia is considered to be central to the genesis of HUS. Distinct methods have been used to evaluate anti-Stx response for immunodiagnostic or epidemiological analysis of HUS cases. The development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blot (WB) assay to detect the presence of specific antibodies to Stx has introduced important advantages for serodiagnosis of HUS. However, application of these methods for seroepidemiological studies in Argentina has been limited. The aim of this work was to develop an ELISA to detect antibodies against the B subunit of Stx2, and a WB to evaluate antibodies against both subunits of Stx2 and Stx1, in order to analyze the pertinence and effectiveness of these techniques in the Argentinean population. We studied 72 normal healthy children (NHC) and 105 HUS patients of the urban pediatric population from the surrounding area of Buenos Aires city. Using the WB method we detected 67% of plasma from NHC reactive for Stx2, but only 8% for Stx1. These results are in agreement with the broad circulation of Stx2-expressing STEC in Argentina and the endemic behavior of HUS in this country. Moreover, the simultaneous evaluation by the two methods allowed us to differentiate acute HUS patients from NHC with a great specificity and accuracy, in order to confirm the HUS etiology when pathogenic bacteria were not isolated from stools.
No effective vaccine or immunotherapy is presently available for patients with the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) induced by Shiga-like toxin (Stx) produced by enterohaemorragic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains, such as those belonging to the O157:H7 serotype. In this work we evaluated the performance of Bacillus subtilis strains, a harmless spore former gram-positive bacterium species, as a vaccine vehicle for the expression of Stx2B subunit (Stx2B). A recombinant B. subtilis vaccine strain expressing Stx2B under the control of a stress inducible promoter was delivered to BALB/c mice via oral, nasal or subcutaneous routes using both vegetative cells and spores. Mice immunized with vegetative cells by the oral route developed low but specific anti-Stx2B serum IgG and fecal IgA responses while mice immunized with recombinant spores developed anti-Stx2B responses only after administration via the parenteral route. Nonetheless, serum anti-Stx2B antibodies raised in mice immunized with the recombinant B. subtilis strain did not inhibit the toxic effects of the native toxin, both under in vitro and in vivo conditions, suggesting that either the quantity or the quality of the induced immune response did not support an effective neutralization of Stx2 produced by EHEC strains.
EHEC; Stx; Bacillus subtilis; vaccines; HUS
Shiga toxins made by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome. Shiga toxins (Stxs) may access the host systemic circulation by absorption across the intestinal epithelium. The effects of Stxs on this cell layer are not completely understood, although animal models of STEC infection suggest that, in the gut, Stxs may participate in both immune activation and apoptosis. Stxs have one enzymatically active A subunit associated with five identical B subunits. The A subunit inactivates ribosomes by cleaving a specific adenine from the 28S rRNA. We have previously shown that Stxs can induce multiple C-X-C chemokines in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro, including interleukin-8 (IL-8), and that Stx-induced IL-8 expression is linked to induction of c-Jun mRNA and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway activity. We now report Stx1 induction of both primary response genes c-jun and c-fos and activation of the stress-activated protein kinases, JNK/SAPK and p38, in the intestinal epithelial cell line HCT-8. By 1 h of exposure to Stx1, mRNAs for c-jun and c-fos are induced, and both JNK and p38 are activated; activation of both kinases persisted up to 24 h. Stx1 enzymatic activity was required for kinase activation; a catalytically defective mutant toxin did not activate either. Stx1 treatment of HCT-8 cells resulted in cell death that was associated with caspase 3 cleavage and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation; this cytotoxicity also required Stx1 enzymatic activity. Blocking Stx1-induced p38 and JNK activation with the inhibitor SB202190 prevented cell death and diminished Stx1-associated caspase 3 cleavage. In summary, these data link the Stx1-induced ribotoxic stress response with both chemokine expression and apoptosis in the intestinal epithelial cell line HCT-8 and suggest that blocking host cell MAP kinases may prevent these Stx-associated events.
Manganese is specifically effective against Shiga toxin (STx) and STx1. STx2 does not bind the manganese-sensitive host cell receptor GPP130, because a histidine/asparagine pair that constitutes the binding site for GPP130 is not conserved. This reveals an unexpected and significant functional divergence in Shiga toxin evolution.
Shiga toxicosis is caused by retrograde trafficking of one of three types of Shiga toxin (STx), STx, STx1, or STx2. Trafficking depends on the toxin B subunits, which for STx and STx1 are identical and bind GPP130, a manganese (Mn)-sensitive intracellular trafficking receptor. Elevated Mn down-regulates GPP130, rendering STx/STx1 harmless. Its effectiveness against STx2, however, which is a serious concern in the developed world, is not known. Here we show that Mn-induced GPP130 down-regulation fails to block STx2 trafficking. To shed light on this result, we tested the purified B subunit of STx2 for binding to GPP130 and found that it failed to interact. We then mapped residues at the interface of the GPP130-STx/STx1 complex. In GPP130, binding mapped to a seven-residue stretch in its lumenal stem domain next to the transmembrane domain. This stretch was required for STx/STx1 transport. In STx/STx1, binding mapped to a histidine–asparagine pair on a surface-exposed loop of the toxin B subunit. Significantly, these residues are not conserved in STx2, explaining the lack of effectiveness of Mn against STx2. Together our results imply that STx2 uses an evolutionarily distinct trafficking mechanism and that Mn as a potential therapy should be focused on STx/STx1 outbreaks, which account for the vast majority of cases worldwide.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) food contaminations pose serious health concerns, and have been the subject of massive food recalls. STEC has been identified as the major cause of the life-threatening complication of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Besides supportive care, there currently are no therapeutics available. The use of antibiotics for combating pathogenic E. coli is not recommended because they have been shown to stimulate toxin production. Clearing Stx2 from the circulation could potentially lessen disease severity. In this study, we tested the in vivo neutralization of Stx2 in mice using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We measured the biologic half-life of Stx2 in mice and determined the distribution phase or t1/2 α to be 3 min and the clearance phase or t1/2 β to be 40 min. Neutralizing mAbs were capable of clearing Stx2 completely from intoxicated mouse blood within minutes. We also examined the persistence of these mAbs over time and showed that complete protection could be passively conferred to mice 4 weeks before exposure to Stx2. The advent of better diagnositic methods and the availability of a greater arsenal of therapeutic mAbs against Stx2 would greatly enhance treatment outcomes of life threatening E. coli infections.
monoclonal antibodies; neutralization of Shiga toxins; Shiga toxin-producing E. coli; toxicokinetics
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains are important human food-borne pathogens. EHEC strains elaborate potent Shiga toxins (Stx1, and/or Stx2) implicated in the development of hemorrhagic colitis (HC) or hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). In this report, we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of Stx1 subunit B (StxB1) administered by transcutaneous immunization (TCI). Three groups of Dutch Belted rabbits received patches containing StxB1, StxB1 in combination with Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LT), or LT alone. An additional group of naïve rabbits served as controls. The protective efficacy following TCI with StxB1 was assessed by challenging rabbits with a virulent Stx1-producing strain, RDEC-H19A, capable of inducing HC and HUS in rabbits. Antibodies specific to StxB1 from serum and bile samples were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and toxin neutralization test. Rabbits immunized with StxB1 demonstrated improved weight gain and reduced Stx-induced histopathology. Rabbits receiving StxB or StxB1/LT showed a significant increase in serum immunoglobulin G titers specific to StxB1 as well as toxin neutralization titers. These data demonstrated that the StxB delivered by TCI could induce significant systemic immune responses. Thus, Stx subunit B vaccine delivered by a patch for a high-risk population may be a practical approach to prevent (and/or reduce) Stx-induced pathology.
Shiga-like toxin 2 (Stx2)-producing enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (referred to as EHEC or STEC) strains are the primary etiologic agents of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which leads to renal failure and high mortality rates. Expression of Stx2 is the most relevant virulence-associated factor of EHEC strains, and toxin neutralization by antigen-specific serum antibodies represents the main target for both preventive and therapeutic anti-HUS approaches. In the present report, we describe two Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium aroA vaccine strains expressing a nontoxic plasmid-encoded derivative of Stx2 (Stx2ΔAB) containing the complete nontoxic A2 subunit and the receptor binding B subunit. The two S. Typhimurium strains differ in the expression of flagellin, the structural subunit of the flagellar shaft, which exerts strong adjuvant effects. The vaccine strains expressed Stx2ΔAB, either cell bound or secreted into the extracellular environment, and showed enhanced mouse gut colonization and high plasmid stability under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Oral immunization of mice with three doses of the S. Typhimurium vaccine strains elicited serum anti-Stx2B (IgG) antibodies that neutralized the toxic effects of the native toxin under in vitro conditions (Vero cells) and conferred partial protection under in vivo conditions. No significant differences with respect to gut colonization or the induction of antigen-specific antibody responses were detected in mice vaccinated with flagellated versus nonflagellated bacterial strains. The present results indicate that expression of Stx2ΔAB by attenuated S. Typhimurium strains is an alternative vaccine approach for HUS control, but additional improvements in the immunogenicity of Stx2 toxoids are still required.
The cytotoxic effect of Shiga-like toxin (Stx; produced by certain Escherichia coli strains) plays a central role in typical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It damages the renal endothelium by inhibiting the cellular protein synthesis. Also, the monocyte has a specific receptor for Stx but is not sensitive for the cytotoxic effect. In this work, monocytes were studied as a potential transporter for Stx to the renal endothelium. Coincubation of isolated human monocytes loaded with Stx and target cells (vero cells and human umbilical vascular endothelial cells) were performed. Transfer was determined by measuring the protein synthesis of target cells and by flow cytometry. Furthermore, the effect of a temperature shift on loaded monocytes was investigated. Stx-loaded monocytes reduced the protein synthesis of target cells. After adding an antibody against Stx, incomplete recovery occurred. Also, adding only the supernatant of coincubation was followed by protein synthesis inhibition. Stx detached from its receptor on the monocyte after a change in temperature, and no release was detected without this temperature shift. Although the monocyte plays an important role in the pathogenesis of HUS, it has no role in the transfer of Stx.
Monocyte; Hemolytic uremic syndrome; Shiga-like toxin; Acute renal failure; HUVEC; vero cells