Dominant negative phenotype of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab, Cry11Aa and Cry4Ba mutants suggest hetero-oligomer formation among different Cry toxins.

D. Carmona, C. Rodriguez-Almazan, C. Munoz-Garay, L. Portugal, C. Perez, R.A. de Maagd, P. Bakker, M. Soberon, A. Bravo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background - Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins are used worldwide in the control of different insect pests important in agriculture or in human health. The Cry proteins are pore-forming toxins that affect the midgut cell of target insects. It was shown that non-toxic Cry1Ab helix a-4 mutants had a dominant negative (DN) phenotype inhibiting the toxicity of wildtype Cry1Ab when used in equimolar or sub-stoichiometric ratios (1:1, 0.5:1, mutant:wt) indicating that oligomer formation is a key step in toxicity of Cry toxins. Methodology/Principal Findings - The DN Cry1Ab-D136N/T143D mutant that is able to block toxicity of Cry1Ab toxin, was used to analyze its capacity to block the activity against Manduca sexta larvae of other Cry1 toxins, such as Cry1Aa, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, Cry1Ea and Cry1Fa. Cry1Ab-DN mutant inhibited toxicity of Cry1Aa, Cry1Ac and Cry1Fa. In addition, we isolated mutants in helix a-4 of Cry4Ba and Cry11Aa, and demonstrate that Cry4Ba-E159K and Cry11Aa-V142D are inactive and completely block the toxicity against Aedes aegypti of both wildtype toxins, when used at sub-stoichiometric ratios, confirming a DN phenotype. As controls we analyzed Cry1Ab-R99A or Cry11Aa-E97A mutants that are located in helix a-3 and are affected in toxin oligomerization. These mutants do not show a DN phenotype but were able to block toxicity when used in 10:1 or 100:1 ratios (mutant:wt) probably by competition of binding with toxin receptors. Conclusions/Significance - We show that DN phenotype can be observed among different Cry toxins suggesting that may interact in vivo forming hetero-oligomers. The DN phenotype cannot be observed in mutants affected in oligomerization, suggesting that this step is important to inhibit toxicity of other toxins
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19952
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • subsp israelensis
  • delta-endotoxin
  • manduca-sexta
  • alkaline-phosphatase
  • protective antigen
  • anopheles-gambiae
  • toxicity
  • crystal
  • anthrax
  • mutagenesis

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