PROSITE documentation PDOC00247
Aerolysin type toxins signature


Aerolysin [1] is a cytolytic toxin exported by the Gram-negative Aeromonas bacteria. The mature toxin binds to eukaryotic cells and aggregates to form holes (approximately 3 nm in diameter) leading to the destruction of the membrane permeability barrier and osmotic lysis. Staphylococcus aureus also exports a cytotoxin, α-toxin [2], whose biological activity is similar to that of aerolysin. The sequences of both toxins are not similar except for a stretch of ten residues rather well conserved.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa cytotoxin [3] has been said to contain a region whose sequence is similar to that of the conserved domain of areolysin/α- toxin, but the similarity is very weak and this toxin is not picked up by the above pattern.

Last update:

November 1997 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

AEROLYSIN, PS00274; Aerolysin type toxins signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsHoward S.P. Garland W.J. Green M.J. Buckley J.T.
TitleNucleotide sequence of the gene for the hole-forming toxin aerolysin of Aeromonas hydrophila.
SourceJ. Bacteriol. 169:2869-2871(1987).
PubMed ID3584074

2AuthorsGray G.S. Kehoe M.
TitlePrimary sequence of the alpha-toxin gene from Staphylococcus aureus wood 46.
SourceInfect. Immun. 46:615-618(1984).
PubMed ID6500704

3AuthorsHayashi T. Kamio Y. Hishinuma F. Usami Y. Titani K. Terawaki Y.
TitlePseudomonas aeruginosa cytotoxin: the nucleotide sequence of the gene and the mechanism of activation of the protoxin.
SourceMol. Microbiol. 3:861-868(1989).
PubMed ID2507866

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