Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11696032
Cell. Microbiol. 2001 Nov;3(11):721-30
Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase-haemolysin is a critical virulence factor in the murine model of intranasal infection, where it is required for several pathological effects, including macrophage apoptosis. Based on biochemical and immunological properties, it was proposed that the toxin was delivered directly to the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells without trafficking through the endocytic pathway. In the present study, we analysed the cellular distribution of the adenylate cyclase-haemolysin during intoxication of macrophages. We showed that, shortly after its initial binding to the plasma membrane of macrophages, the toxin gains access to intracellular compartments that become progressively positive for the endosomal marker transferrin, but not for the lysosomal membrane protein CD107a/Lamp1. Importantly, the vesicular trafficking of the adenylate cyclase-haemolysin appears to be required for its ability to induce macrophage death. Inhibitors of actin polymerization and of macropinocytosis, as well as depletion of plasma membrane cholesterol and disruption of the Golgi network, reduce the toxin’s ability to kill macrophages. Altogether, these results suggest that internalization of the adenylate cyclase-haemolysin into endocytic vesicles, at least partly through macropinocytosis, contributes to cytotoxicity.