INSTITUTO DE BIOTECNOLOGIA Y BIOLOGIA MOLECULAR
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
capítulos de libros
The cholera toxin as a biotechnological tool
NOELIA OLIVERA; MAIA CEDOLA; RICARDO M. GÓMEZ
It was as early as 1886 when Robert Koch proposed that the symptoms caused by Vibrio cholerae were caused by a "poison" produced by the pathogen. However, it was not until 1959 that this postulate could be demonstrated by reproducing the disease in an animal model [De, 1959]. Today, cholera toxin (CT) is known to exhibit toxic effects in human cells and produces dehydrating diarrhea in humans. It is produced almost exclusively by few serogroups of V. cholera, however, sometimes may be naturally produced by other organisms, as the opportunistic pathogen V. mimicus [Nishibuchi and Seidler, 1983; Spira and Fedorka-Cray, 1984]. CT has important immunological properties and for that reason it has been extensively used as a systemic and mucosal adjuvant because it enhances the immunogenicity of most antigens fused or co-administered with the toxin [Sanchez and Holmgren, 2008]. The aim of this chapter will be to describe the biotechnological utilities of CT, with special attention to its adjuvant effect as well as its application in the treatment of autoimmune diseases through its ability to generate oral tolerance.