CD31 (PECAM-1) Serves as the Endothelial Cell-Specific Receptor of Clostridium perfringens β-Toxin.

Bruggisser, Julia; Tarek, Basma; Wyder, Marianne; Müller, Philipp; von Ballmoos, Christoph; Witz, Guillaume; Enzmann, Gaby; Deutsch, Urban; Engelhardt, Britta; Posthaus, Horst (2020). CD31 (PECAM-1) Serves as the Endothelial Cell-Specific Receptor of Clostridium perfringens β-Toxin. Cell host & microbe, 28(1), pp. 69-78. Cell Press 10.1016/j.chom.2020.05.003

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Clostridium perfringens β-toxin (CPB) is a highly active β-pore-forming toxin (β-PFT) and the essential virulence factor for fatal, necro-hemorrhagic enteritis in animals and humans. The molecular mechanisms involved in CPB's action on its target, the endothelium of small intestinal vessels, are poorly understood. Here, we identify platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31 or PECAM-1) as the specific membrane receptor for CPB on endothelial cells. CD31 expression corresponds with the cell-type specificity of CPB, and it is essential for toxicity in cultured cells and mice. Ectopic CD31 expression renders resistant cells and liposomes susceptible to CPB-induced membrane damage. Moreover, the extracellular Ig6 domain of mouse, human, and porcine CD31 is essential for the interaction with CPB. Hence, our results explain the cell-type specificity of CPB in vitro and in the natural disease caused by C. perfringens type C.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Theodor Kocher Institute
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Mathematics and Statistics > Institute of Mathematics
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Bruggisser, Julia Maria, Sayed, Basma Tarek Mohammed Amin, Wyder, Marianne, Müller, Philipp Isaak, von Ballmoos, Christoph, Witz, Guillaume Robert, Enzmann, Gaby, Deutsch, Urban, Engelhardt, Britta, Posthaus, Horst


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 510 Mathematics
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Cell Press




Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

06 Aug 2020 10:20

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

CD31 Clostridium perfringens type C PECAM-1 endothelial cells membrane proteins pore-forming toxins toxin receptors β-toxin




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