2016 Volume 78 Issue 8 Pages 1311-1317
Several animal models have shown that anthrax toxin (ATX) elicits a cytotoxic effect on host cells through anthrax toxin receptor (ANTXR) function. In this study, compared with mouse cells, cells obtained from humans exhibited low sensitivity to ATX-mediated cytotoxicity, and the sensitivity was not correlated with expression levels of ANTXRs. ATX treatment also induced a cytotoxic effect in other cultured human cells, human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells, that express ANTXRs at undetectable levels. Furthermore, ectopic expression of ANTXRs in HEK293 cells did not affect the sensitivity to ATX treatment. These findings suggest that there is an ANTXR-independent cytotoxic mechanism in human cells.