Biologists Find Cholera Toxin’s Deadly Mechanism
Biologists at UC San Diego have identified an underlying biochemical mechanism that helps make cholera toxin so deadly, often resulting in life-threating diarrhea that causes people to lose as much as half of their body fluids in a single day.
Two groups of scientists working on fruit flies, mice and cultured human intestinal cells studied cholera toxin, produced by the highly infectious bacterium Vibrio cholerae. They discovered the toxin exerts some of its devastating effects by reducing the delivery of proteins to molecular junctions that normally act like Velcro to hold intestinal cells together in the outer lining of the gut.
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