Acta Med. 2002, 45: 3-5

Anthrax Toxin Characterization

Jiří Patočkaa, Miroslav Špliňob

aPurkyně Military Medical Academy, Department of Toxicology, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
bPurkyně Military Medical Academy, Department of Epidemiology, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Received March 1, 2002
Accepted April 1, 2002

The anthrax toxin comprises three proteins. When they work together, they can kill humans, especially after spores of the bacteria have been inhaled. One anthrax protein, called protective antigen (PA), chaperones the two other toxins into human or animal cells and shields them from the body’s immune system. The second, lethal factor (LF), destroys the white blood cells that hosts send in defence. The third toxin molecule, edema factor (EF), hijacks the signaling system in the body. This disrupts the energy balance of cells and leads to them accumulating fluid and complete destroy of cells.


This study was supported by the grant of Ministry of Defense, project No. 6602129911.


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