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Anthrax toxin progression through the endocytic pathway

Schematic overview of the progression of anthrax toxin through the endocytic pathway. After trafficking to the early endosome, PA can undergo a conformational change that results in pore formation and translocation of the enzymatic subunits across the membrane. LF and EF reach the cytoplasm either by direct translocation or by back-fusion of intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) of late endosomes. LF cleaves members of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) family (or MEK) to inhibit nuclear protein synthesis. EF leads to the elevation of intracellular cAMP and causes edema. LF can also take an alternate route and be packaged into ILVs, which are then released as exosomes and can transmit the toxin to naive cells. (Source: Friebe S, van der Goot FG, Bürgi J. The ins and outs of anthrax toxin. Toxins (Basel) 2016;8(3). Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) License.)

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