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The regulation of apoptosis by toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 and associated mutants Hung, Ryan Wei Yan


Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), the primary virulence factor in toxic shock syndrome (TSS), is an exotoxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus and a member of the superantigen family of T cell mitogens. Activation-induced cell death (AICD) of superantigen-reactive T cells is thought to play a role in modulating the hyperactive immune response and promoting host survival. While this form of apoptotic cell death occurs with the related staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE) A and B, conflicting reports exist for TSST-1. Therefore, the aim of this project was to investigate the regulation of apoptosis by TSST-1 and site-directed mutants. TSST-1 was found to exert either pro- or anti-apoptotic effects depending on the dose, thus resolving some of the contradictory reports in the literature. At commonly used concentrations (

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