Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin: From threat to therapy

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Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human oral cavity and is the causative agent for localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP), an aggressive form of periodontal disease that occurs in adolescents. A. actinomycetemcomitans secretes a protein toxin, leukotoxin (LtxA), which helps the bacterium evade the host immune response during infection. LtxA is a membrane-active toxin that specifically targets white blood cells (WBCs). In this review, we discuss recent developments in this field, including the identification and characterization of genes and proteins involved in secretion, regulation of LtxA, biosynthesis, newly described activities of LtxA, and how LtxA may be used as a therapy for the treatment of diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


  • LAP
  • Leukemia
  • Periodontitis
  • RTX toxin

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