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Cyt1Aa is the major and most active component of the parasporal crystal of the Gram-positive soil entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. The Cyt1Aa protoxin exhibits some hemolytic and cytolytic activity. However, highly active 22-25 kDa toxins are obtained after proteolysis of Cyt1Aa from both the N- and the C-termini. As shown in this study, preliminary binding of the protoxin to polylamellary liposomes or partial denaturation of Cyt1Aa and further processing by several exogenous proteases yielded short 4.9-11.5 kDa cytolytic peptide fragments of Cyt1Aa. The shortest 51 amino acid peptide was obtained after pre-incubation of Cyt1Aa with SDS and proteolysis with proteinase K. This peptide was purified, identified as the Ile87-Asp137 fragment of Cyt1Aa and was shown to exhibit more than 30 % hemolysis of rabbit erythrocytes.


Marina Nisnevitch, Svetlana Nikonov, Yeshayahu Nitzan. Cytolytic peptide fragments of Cyt1Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. Cell biochemistry and biophysics. 2013 Mar;65(2):121-7

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PMID: 22875467

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