Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin (LtxA; leukothera®): Mechanisms of action and therapeutic applications

Brian A. Vega, Benjamin A. Belinka, Scott C. Kachlany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is an oral pathogen that produces the RTX toxin, leukotoxin (LtxA; Leukothera®). A. actinomycetemcomitans is strongly associated with the development of localized aggressive periodontitis. LtxA acts as a virulence factor for A. actinomycetemcomitans to subvert the hostimmuneresponse by binding to theΒ2 integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18) on white blood cells (WBCs), causing cell death. In this paper, we reviewed the state of knowledge on LtxA interaction with WBCs and the subsequent mechanisms of induced cell death. Finally, we touched on the potential therapeutic applications of LtxA (trade name Leukothera®) toxin therapy for the treatment of hematological malignancies and immune-mediated diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number489
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
  • Cell death
  • Leukotoxin (LtxA)
  • Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1)
  • Oral microbiology
  • RTX (repeats-in-toxin) toxin
  • Toxin therapy
  • Virulence factor
  • β2 integrins


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