Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30037010
Toxins (Basel) 2018 Jul;10(7)
The adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) is one of the major virulence factors of , the causative agent of whooping cough. CyaA is able to invade eukaryotic cells where, upon activation by endogenous calmodulin, it synthesizes massive amounts of cAMP that alters cellular physiology. The CyaA toxin is a 1706 residues-long bifunctional protein: the catalytic domain is located in the 400 amino-proximal residues, whereas the carboxy-terminal 1306 residues are implicated in toxin binding to the cellular receptor, the αβ₂ (CD11b/CD18) integrin, and subsequently in the translocation of the catalytic domain across the cytoplasmic membrane of the target cells. Indeed, this protein is endowed with the unique capability of delivering its N-terminal catalytic domain directly across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic target cells. These properties have been exploited to engineer the CyaA toxin as a potent non-replicating vector able to deliver antigens into antigen presenting cells and elicit specific cell-mediated immune responses. Antigens of interest can be inserted into the CyaA protein to yield recombinant molecules that are targeted in vivo to dendritic cells, where the antigens are processed and presented by the major class I and class II histocompatibility complexes (MHC-I and II). CyaA turned out to be a remarkably effective and versatile vaccine vector capable of inducing all the components of the immune response (T-CD4, T-CD8, and antibody). In this chapter, we summarize the basic knowledge on the adenylate cyclase toxin and then describe the application of CyaA in vaccinology, including some recent results of clinical trials of immunotherapy using a recombinant CyaA vaccine.