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Pathogenic determinants

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

C. diphtheriae has a number of pathogenic determinants:

  • exotoxin:
    • a single polypeptide chain of molecular weight 63,000
    • enters cell and split into cell-binding domain and active fragment
    • carried by a lysogenic phage
    • expressed at low cellular free ion concentrations
    • the active fragment:
      • catalyses the transfer of the ADP-ribose moiety of NAD to a modified histidine residue of elongation factor 2 (EF2) within the cytoplasm
      • inactivates EF2, preventing the translocation of peptidyl-tRNA and so inhibiting protein synthesis
  • colonization factors
  • a number of exoenzymes

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