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Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin: Action, Genetics, and Translational Applications

Freedman, John and Shrestha, Archana and McClane, Bruce (2016) Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin: Action, Genetics, and Translational Applications. Toxins, 8 (3). ISSN 2072-6651

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Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is responsible for causing the gastrointestinal symptoms of several C. perfringens food- and nonfood-borne human gastrointestinal diseases. The enterotoxin gene (cpe) is located on either the chromosome (for most C. perfringens type A food poisoning strains) or large conjugative plasmids (for the remaining type A food poisoning and most, if not all, other CPE-producing strains). In all CPE-positive strains, the cpe gene is strongly associated with insertion sequences that may help to assist its mobilization and spread. During disease, CPE is produced when C. perfringens sporulates in the intestines, a process involving several sporulation-specific alternative sigma factors. The action of CPE starts with its binding to claudin receptors to form a small complex; those small complexes then oligomerize to create a hexameric prepore on the membrane surface. Beta hairpin loops from the CPE molecules in the prepore assemble into a beta barrel that inserts into the membrane to form an active pore that enhances calcium influx, causing cell death. This cell death results in intestinal damage that causes fluid and electrolyte loss. CPE is now being explored for translational applications including cancer therapy/diagnosis, drug delivery, and vaccination.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Freedman, John
Shrestha, Archanaars139@pitt.eduars139
McClane, Brucebamcc@pitt.edubamcc
Date: 16 March 2016
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Toxins
Volume: 8
Number: 3
Publisher: MDPI AG
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/toxins8030073
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clostridium perfringens, enterotoxin, pore-forming toxin, sporulation, tight junctions, claudins
ISSN: 2072-6651
Official URL:
Funders: National Institute of Allergy to Infectious Diseases
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 20:28
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 20:28


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