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Consequences and Utility of the Zinc-Dependent Metalloprotease Activity of Anthrax Lethal Toxin

Author(s): Jennifer Bromberg-White | Chih-Shia Lee | Nicholas Duesbery

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 1038;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: anthrax | lethal factor | mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase | pathogenesis | metalloprotease | tumorigenesis | retinal neovascularization

Anthrax is caused by the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The pathogenesis of this disease is dependent on the presence of two binary toxins, edema toxin (EdTx) and lethal toxin (LeTx). LeTx, the major virulence factor contributing to anthrax, contains the effector moiety lethal factor (LF), a zinc-dependent metalloprotease specific for targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases. This review will focus on the protease-specific activity and function of LF, and will include a discussion on the implications and consequences of this activity, both in terms of anthrax disease, and how this activity can be exploited to gain insight into other pathologic conditions.
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