Vibrio mimicus is a causative agent of human gastroenteritis. This pathogen secretes a pore-forming toxin, V. mimicus hemolysin (VMH), which causes hemolysis by three sequential steps: binding to an erythrocyte membrane, formation of a transmembrane pore, and disruption of the cell membrane. VMH with a molecular mass of 63 kDa was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and column chromatography with phenyl Sepharose HP and Superose 6 HR. The hemolytic reaction induced by VMH continued up to disruption of all erythrocytes in the assay system. Moreover, VMH that bound preliminarily to erythrocyte ghosts showed a sufficient ability to attack intact erythrocytes. These results suggest reversible binding of the toxin molecule to the membrane. The final cell-disrupting stage was effectively inhibited by various divalent cations. Additionally, some cations, such as Zn2+ and Cu2+, blocked the pore-forming stage at high concentrations. Although VMH could disrupt all kinds of mammalian erythrocytes tested, those from horses were most sensitive to the hemolysin. Horse erythrocytes were found to have the most toxin-binding sites and to be hemolyzed by the least amount of membrane-bound toxin molecules, suggesting that toxin binding to and pore formation on erythrocytes are more effective in horses than in other mammals. Purified VMH induced fluid accumulation in a ligated rabbit ileal loop in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the antibody against the hemolysin obviously reduced enteropathogenicity of living V. mimicus cells. These findings clearly demonstrate that VMH is probably involved in the virulence of this human pathogen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases