Bacterial Glycosyltransferase Toxins

Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research