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A Burkholderia pseudomallei Toxin Inhibits Helicase Activity of Translation Factor eIF4A

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Science  11 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6057, pp. 821-824
DOI: 10.1126/science.1211915

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Abstract

The structure of BPSL1549, a protein of unknown function from Burkholderia pseudomallei, reveals a similarity to Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1. We found that BPSL1549 acted as a potent cytotoxin against eukaryotic cells and was lethal when administered to mice. Expression levels of bpsl1549 correlate with conditions expected to promote or suppress pathogenicity. BPSL1549 promotes deamidation of glutamine-339 of the translation initiation factor eIF4A, abolishing its helicase activity and inhibiting translation. We propose to name BPSL1549 Burkholderia lethal factor 1.

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