Ricin A-chain is delivered into macrophages via receptor-mediated endocytosis. We have found that following uptake via the mannose receptor, ricin A-chain is rapidly cleaved by endosomal proteases. Inhibition of endosomal protenses such as cathepsin D and B leads to the accumulation of toxin inside the cell. Inhibition of cathepsin D reduces ricin A-chain cytotoxicity, while blocking cathepsin B enhances cytotoxicity. Similar results were obtained using fibroblasts transfected with the mannose receptor. Our data strongly suggest that the activation or membrane translocation of ricin A-chain is dependent upon the action of specific proteases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology