Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains ofClostridium perfringensclas-sified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric b-pore-forming
toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicumalpha toxin, which are
characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of
eukaryotic cells consisting in ab-barrel of 14 amphipaticbstrands.
The epsilon-toxin ofClostridium perfringensforms a heptamer in the mem-branes of Madin–Darby canine kidney cells, leading to cell death. Here, we
report that it caused the vacuolation of Madin–Darby canine kidney cells.
The toxin induced vacuolation in a dose-dependent and time-dependent
Clostridium perfringense-toxin is produced by toxinotypes B and D strains.
The toxin is the aetiological agent of dysentery in newborn lambs but is
also associated with enteritis and enterotoxaemia in goats, calves and foals.
It is considered to be a potential biowarfare or bioterrorism agent by the
US Government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.