The LDL Receptor-Related Protein LRP6 Mediates Internalization and Lethality of Anthrax Toxin

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Abstract

Toxins produced by Bacillus anthracis and other microbial pathogens require functions of host cell genes to yield toxic effects. Here we show that low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6), previously known to be a coreceptor for the Wnt signaling pathway, is required for anthrax toxin lethality in mammalian cells. Downregulation of LRP6 or coexpression of a truncated LRP6 dominant-negative peptide inhibited cellular uptake of complexes containing the protective antigen (PA) carrier of anthrax toxin moieties and protected targeted cells from death, as did antibodies against epitopes in the LRP6 extracellular domain. Fluorescence microscopy and biochemical analyses showed that LRP6 enables toxin internalization by interacting at the cell surface with PA receptors TEM8/ATR and/or CMG2 to form a multicomponent complex that enters cells upon PA binding. Our results, which reveal a previously unsuspected biological role for LRP6, identify LRP6 as a potential target for countermeasures against anthrax toxin lethality. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Wei, W., Lu, Q., Chaudry, G. J., Leppla, S. H., & Cohen, S. N. (2006). The LDL Receptor-Related Protein LRP6 Mediates Internalization and Lethality of Anthrax Toxin. Cell, 124(6), 1141–1154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2005.12.045

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