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Transgenic mice expressing a fully nontoxic diphtheria toxin mutant, not CRM197 mutant, acquire immune tolerance against diphtheria toxin



Transgenic mice expressing a fully nontoxic diphtheria toxin mutant, not CRM197 mutant, acquire immune tolerance against diphtheria toxin



Journal of Biochemistry 142(1): 105-112



We previously developed a method termed "toxin receptor-mediated cell knockout" (TRECK). By the TRECK method, a single or repeated shot(s) of diphtheria toxin (DT) conditionally ablates a specific cell population from transgenic mice expressing the DT receptor transgene under the control of a cell type-specific promoter. In some cases of TRECK, frequent and high-dose administration of DT is required, raising the concern that these frequent injections of DT could cause production of anti-DT antibody, which would neutralize further DT administration. To solve this problem, we aimed to generate transgenic mice genetically expressing a nontoxic DT mutant, with the expectation that they may naturally acquire immune tolerance to DT. Unexpectedly, the G52E DT mutant, which is well known as the nontoxic DT variant cross reacting material 197 (CRM197), exhibited cytotoxicity in yeast and mammalian cells. Cytotoxicity of CRM197 was abrogated in cells mutated for elongation factor 2 (EF-2), indicating that CRM197 exerts its toxic effects through EF-2, similar to wild-type DT. On the other hand, the K51E/E148K DT mutant exhibited no detectable cytotoxicity. This led us to successfully obtain DT gene transgenic mice, which exhibited no histological abnormalities, and indeed acquired immune tolerance to DT.

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Accession: 017547553

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PMID: 17522091

DOI: 10.1093/jb/mvm115



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