Diphtheria toxin structure

Diphtheria toxin structure

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Caption: Diphtheria toxin , molecular model. This model shows the toxin produced by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the cause of diphtheria. The less stable of the protein's two subunits (upper) binds to a growth factor (seen at top, blue) found on the surface of the host cells. The other subunit (lower) penetrates the cell, and the toxin interferes with metabolic reactions within the cell. Diphtheria causes a fever and breathing difficulties. In this model, solid colours represent the secondary structure of the protein (spiral ribbons are alpha helices; arrows are beta sheets), and the faded tubular structure behind represents the individual atoms and bonds.

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