Effect of Diphtheria Toxin on the Phospholipase D activity and Free Fatty Acid Release in HepG2 Cells

HepG2 세포의 포스포리파제 D 활성과 자유 지방산 방출에 대한 디프테리아 독소의 영향

  • Received : 2014.12.03
  • Accepted : 2014.12.24
  • Published : 2015.02.20


The effect of diphtheria toxin on cell membrane lipids was studied by examining the phospholipase D (PLD) activity and free fatty acids (FFA) release in HepG2 cells. The diphtheria toxin effects on lipid alteration show apparently maximal at pH 5.1, stimulating PLD activity nearly 3.5 fold and enhancing FFA release approximately 5 fold over the control. These results indicate that the membrane is perturbed and its lipid component is rearranged during the diphtheria toxin translocation. Digitonin, a random membrane perturbing detergent, exhibit about four-fold higher perturbation effect over the diphtheria toxin at neutral pH. This observation suggests that the membrane perturbation induced by diphtheria toxin appears to be rather selective. To investigate the cause of the membrane perturbation, Cibacron blue, an inhibitor of membrane pore formation, and hemagglutinin, an influenza virus with fusion peptide, were tested for their effects on diphtheria toxin action. Cibacron blue decreased the diphtheria toxin effect by almost 50%, but the lipid alteration induced by hemagglutinin was similar to the diphtheria toxin effect. These observations imply that the membrane perturbation induced by diphtheria toxin may be caused by a combination of pore formation and insertion of hydrophobic peptide of toxin to the membrane as well. Additionally, we found that the diphtheria toxin increased the HepG2 cells permeability but the cells viability was maintained at high level at the same time. DNA fragmentation which is related to apoptosis was not induced by the toxin. Under these conditions, we could demonstrate that the lipid alteration of HepG2 cells was brought about by diphtheria toxin at acidic pH.


Diphtheria toxin;HepG2 cells;Phospholipase D;Free fatty acid;Membrane perturbation


  1. Lee, S. Y.; Park, N. G.; Choi, M. U. FEBS letters 1998, 432, 50.
  2. Chenal, A.; Prongidi-Fix, L.; Perier, A.; Aisenbrey, C.; Vernier, G.; Lambotte, S.; Fragneto, G.; Bechinger, B.; Gillet, D.; Forge, V.; Ferrand, M. J. Mol. Biol. 2009, 391, 872.
  3. Sharpe, J. C.; Kachel, K.; London, E. J. Membrane Biol. 1999, 171, 223.
  4. Ramalho-Santos, J.; Maria, C.; De Lima, P. Biochem. Biophys. Acta. 1998, 1376, 147.
  5. Sharpe, J. C.; London, E. J. Membrane Biol. 1999, 171, 209.
  6. Khramtsov, Y. V.; Rokitskaya, T. I.; Rosenkranz, A. A.; Trusov, G. A.; Gnuchev, N. V.; Antonenko, Y. N.; Sobolev, A. S. J. Control. Release 2008, 128, 241.
  7. Man, P.; Montagner, C.; Vitrac, H.; Kavan, D.; Pichard, S.; Gillet, D.; Forest, E.; Forge, V. J. Mol. Biol. 2011, 414, 123.
  8. Echert, D. M.; Kim, P. S. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 2001, 70, 777.
  9. Jia, X.; Chen, F.; Pan, W.; Yu, R.; Tian, S.; Han, G.; Fang, H.; Wang , S.; Xhao, J.; Li, X.; Zheng, D.; Tao, S.; Liao, W.; Han, X.; Han, L. Micro. Infect. 2014, 16, 491.
  10. Choe, S.; Bennette, M.J.; Fujii, G.; Curmi, P. M. G.; Kandtardijieff, K. A.; Collier, R. J.; Eisenberg, D. Nature 1992, 357, 216.
  11. Umata, T.; Mekada, E. J. Biol. Chem. 1998, 273, 8351.
  12. Rodnin, M. V.; Kyrychenko, A.; Kienker, P.; Sharma, O.; Posokhov, Y. O.; Collier, R. J.; Finkelstein, A.; Ladokhin, A. S. J. Mol. Biol. 2010, 402, 1.
  13. Exton, J. H. Physiol. Rev. 1997, 77, 303.
  14. Pleskot, R.; Li, J.; Zarsky, V.; Potocky, M.; Staiger, C. J. Trend. Plant Science 2013, 18, 496.
  15. Marguerite, V.; Gkikopulou, E.; Alberto, J.-M.; Gueant, J.-L.; Merten, M. Inter. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 2013, 45, 213.
  16. Lee, S. Y.; Park, H. S.; Lee, S. J.; Choi, M. U. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 2001, 389, 57.
  17. Park, H. S.; Lee, S. Y.; Kim, Y. H.; Kim, J. Y.; Lee, S. J.; Choi, M-U. Biochem. Biophys. Acta. 2000, 1484, 121.
  18. Koh, E.-H. J. Korean Chem. Soc. 2005, 49, 473.
  19. Moskang, J. Q.; Stenmark, H.; Siur, O. J. Biol. Chem. 1991, 266, 2652.
  20. Jung, K.; Koh, E.-H.; Choi, M. U. Bull. Korean Chem. Soc. 1989, 10, 585.