Staphylococcus Aureus Alpha Toxin - Role in Apoptosis

Role in Apoptosis

Recently, studies have shown that alpha-toxin plays a role in inducing apoptosis in certain human immune cells. Incubation of T-cells, monocytes, and peripheral blood lymphocytes with either purified alpha-toxin or S. aureus cell lysate resulted in the induction of apoptosis via the intrinsic death pathway. This activity was inhibited when two different anti-alpha-toxin antibodies were introduced. In the same study, alpha toxin was shown to activate caspase 8 and caspase 9, which in turn activate caspase 3, which causes massive DNA degradation and apoptosis. This activity was shown to be independent of the death receptor pathway.

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