The insecticidal toxin makes caterpillars floppy 2 (Mcf2) shows similarity to HrmA, an avirulence protein from a plant pathogen

N R Waterfield, P J Daborn, A J Dowling, G W Yang, M Hares, R H Ffrench-Constant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Photorhabdus luminescens W14 toxin encoding gene makes caterpillars floppy (mcf) was discovered due to its ability to kill caterpillars when expressed in Escherichia coli. Here we describe a homologue of mcf (renamed as mcf1), termed mcf2, discovered in the same genome. The mc/2 gene predicts another large toxin whose central domain, like Mcf1, also shows limited homology to Clostridium cytotoxin B. However, the N-terminus of Mcf2 shows significant similarity to the type-III secreted effector HrmA from the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and no similarity to the N-terminus of Mcf1. HrmA is a plant avirulence gene whose transient expression in tobacco cells results in cell death. Here we show that E coli expressing Mcf2 can, like E coli expressing Mcf1, kill insects. Further, expression of the c-Myc tagged N-terminus of Mcf2, the region showing similarity to HrmA, results in nuclear localisation of the fusion protein and subsequent destruction of transfected mammalian cells. The Mcf1 and Mcf2 toxins therefore belong to a family of high molecular mass toxins, differing at their N-termini, which encode different effector domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume229
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The insecticidal toxin makes caterpillars floppy 2 (Mcf2) shows similarity to HrmA, an avirulence protein from a plant pathogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this