Epsilon toxin

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  • 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.

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  • 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 manner.

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  • 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.

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