Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin mobilizes its beta2 integrin receptor into lipid rafts to accomplish translocation across target cell membrane in two steps

PLoS Pathog. 2010 May 13;6(5):e1000901. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000901.


Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) binds the alpha(M)beta(2) integrin (CD11b/CD18, Mac-1, or CR3) of myeloid phagocytes and delivers into their cytosol an adenylate cyclase (AC) enzyme that converts ATP into the key signaling molecule cAMP. We show that penetration of the AC domain across cell membrane proceeds in two steps. It starts by membrane insertion of a toxin 'translocation intermediate', which can be 'locked' in the membrane by the 3D1 antibody blocking AC domain translocation. Insertion of the 'intermediate' permeabilizes cells for influx of extracellular calcium ions and thus activates calpain-mediated cleavage of the talin tether. Recruitment of the integrin-CyaA complex into lipid rafts follows and the cholesterol-rich lipid environment promotes translocation of the AC domain across cell membrane. AC translocation into cells was inhibited upon raft disruption by cholesterol depletion, or when CyaA mobilization into rafts was blocked by inhibition of talin processing. Furthermore, CyaA mutants unable to mobilize calcium into cells failed to relocate into lipid rafts, and failed to translocate the AC domain across cell membrane, unless rescued by Ca(2+) influx promoted in trans by ionomycin or another CyaA protein. Hence, by mobilizing calcium ions into phagocytes, the 'translocation intermediate' promotes toxin piggybacking on integrin into lipid rafts and enables AC enzyme delivery into host cytosol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin / chemistry
  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Bordetella / enzymology*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • CD18 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Cell Membrane / microbiology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cytosol / enzymology
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Membrane Microdomains / enzymology
  • Membrane Microdomains / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Talin / metabolism
  • U937 Cells


  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin
  • CD11b Antigen
  • CD18 Antigens
  • ITGAM protein, human
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Talin
  • Cholesterol
  • Calcium