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Cryo-EM structures of the pore-forming A subunit from the Yersinia entomophaga ABC toxin

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 16:58 authored by Sarah Piper, Lou Brillault, Rosalba Rothnagel, Tristan Croll, Joseph Box, Irene Chassagnon, Sebastian Scherer, Kenneth Goldie, Sandra Jones, Femke Schepers, Lauren Hartley-Tassell, Thomas Ve, Jason Busby, Julie DalzielJulie Dalziel, Shaun Lott, Ben Hankamer, Henning Stahlberg, Mark HurstMark Hurst, Michael Landsberg
ABC toxins are pore-forming virulence factors produced by pathogenic bacteria. YenTcA is the pore-forming and membrane binding A subunit of the ABC toxin YenTc, produced by the insect pathogen Yersinia entomophaga. Here we present cryo-EM structures of YenTcA, purified from the native source. The soluble pre-pore structure, determined at an average resolution of 4.4 Å, reveals a pentameric assembly that in contrast to other characterised ABC toxins is formed by two TcA-like proteins (YenA1 and YenA2) and decorated by two endochitinases (Chi1 and Chi2). We also identify conformational changes that accompany membrane pore formation by visualising YenTcA inserted into liposomes. A clear outward rotation of the Chi1 subunits allows for access of the protruding translocation pore to the membrane. Our results highlight structural and functional diversity within the ABC toxin subfamily, explaining how different ABC toxins are capable of recognising diverse hosts.


Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • English

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Springer Nature

Journal title

Nature Communications




Piper, S. J., Brillault, L., Rothnagel, R., Croll, T. I., Box, J. K., Chassagnon, I., … Landsberg, M. J. (2019). Cryo-EM structures of the pore-forming A subunit from the Yersinia entomophaga ABC toxin. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1952. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09890-8

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