The combined effects of ionic strength, divalent cations, pH and toxin concentration on the pore-forming activity of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca were studied using membrane potential measurements in isolated midguts of Manduca sexta and a brush border membrane vesicle osmotic swelling assay. The effects of ionic strength and divalent cations were more pronounced at pH 10.5 than at pH 7.5. At the higher pH, lowering ionic strength in isolated midguts enhanced Cry1Ac activity but decreased considerably that of Cry1Ca. In vesicles, Cry1Ac had a stronger pore-forming ability than Cry1Ca at a relatively low ionic strength. Increasing ionic strength, however, decreased the rate of pore formation of Cry1Ac relative to that of Cry1Ca. The activity of Cry1Ca, which was small at the higher pH, was greatly increased by adding calcium or by increasing ionic strength. EDTA inhibited Cry1Ac activity at pH 10.5, but not at pH 7.5, indicating that trace amounts of divalent cations are necessary for Cry1Ac activity at the higher pH. These results, which clearly demonstrate a strong effect of ionic strength, divalent cations and pH on the pore-forming activity of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca, stress the importance of electrostatic interactions in the mechanism of pore formation by B. thuringiensis toxins.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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