Phagocyte impotence caused by an invasive bacterial adenylate cyclase

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Science  03 Sep 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4563, pp. 948-950
DOI: 10.1126/science.6287574


For unknown reasons, humans infected with the bacterium Bordetella pertussis are exceptionally vulnerable to secondary infections. Bordetella species elaborate a soluble, heat-stable, and highly active adenylate cyclase. This enzyme is internalized by phagocytic cells and catalyzes the unregulated formation of adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP), thereby disrupting normal cellular function. This unusual phenomenon may explain Bordetella-induced aphylaxis and may prove to be useful for investigating a variety of cyclic AMP-governed processes.

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