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Anthrax toxin formation and activity

Note the binding of protective antigen to anthrax toxin receptors on the cell surface, with subsequent proteolytic processing and oligomerization to form a heptamer, which binds edema factor and lethal factor. LF and EF can bind to the PA heptamer (PA7mer) to form lethal toxin (LT) or edema toxin (ET), which associate with lipid rafts. These complexes are then internalized via endocytosis, and through a translocation process lethal factor and edema factor can enter the cytoplasm. (Source: Bower WA, Hendricks K, Pillai S, Guarnizo J, Meaney-Delman D, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Clinical framework and medical countermeasure use during an anthrax mass-casualty incident. MMWR Recomm Rep 2015;64(4):1-22. Public domain.)

Associated Disorders

  • Cutaneous anthrax
  • Gastrointestinal anthrax
  • Inhalational anthrax
  • Ragpicker disease
  • Woolsorter disease