A monkey cDNA (pDTS) encoding a diphtheria toxin (DT) sensitivity determinant was isolated by expression cloning in mouse L-M cells. Mouse cells are naturally resistant to DT, because they lack functional cell surface receptors for the toxin. Unlike wild-type L-M cells, pDTS-transfected mouse cells are extremely toxin sensitive and specifically bind radioiodinated DT. Intoxication of the transfected cells requires receptor-mediated endocytosis of the bound toxin. The cDNA is predicted to encode an integral membrane protein that is identical to the precursor of a heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor. The DT sensitivity protein is thus a growth factor precursor that DT exploits as a receptor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)