Concept

Pore-forming toxin

Summary
Pore-forming proteins (PFTs, also known as pore-forming toxins) are usually produced by bacteria, and include a number of protein exotoxins but may also be produced by other organisms such as apple snails that produce perivitellin-2 or earthworms, who produce lysenin. They are frequently cytotoxic (i.e., they kill cells), as they create unregulated pores in the membrane of targeted cells. Types PFTs can be divided into two categories, depending on the alpha-helical or beta-barrel architecture of their transmembrane channel that can consist either of
  • Alpha-pore-forming toxins ** e.g., Haemolysin E family, actinoporins, Corynebacterial porin B, Cytolysin A of E. coli.
  • Beta-barrel pore-forming toxins ** e.g. α-hemolysin (Fig 1), PVL – Panton-Valentine leukocidin, various insecticidal toxins.
Other categories:
  • Large beta-barrel pore-forming toxins ** MACPF and Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), gasdermin
  • Binary toxins ** e.g., Anthrax toxin, Pleurotolysin
  • Smal
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