Global transcriptional response of macrophage-like THP-1 cells to Shiga toxin type 1. Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Shiga toxins (Stxs) are bacterial cytotoxins produced by the enteric pathogens Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and some serotypes of Escherichia coli that cause bacillary dysentery and hemorrhagic colitis, respectively. To date, approaches to studying the capacity of Stxs to alter gene expression in intoxicated cells have been limited to individual genes. However, it is known that many of the signaling pathways activated by Stxs regulate the expression of multiple genes in mammalian cells. To expand the scope of analysis of gene expression and to better understand the underlying mechanisms for the various effects of Stxs on host cell functions, we carried out comparative microarray analyses to characterize the global transcriptional response of human macrophage-like THP-1 cells to Shiga toxin type 1 (Stx1) and lipopolysaccharides. The data were analyzed by using a rigorous combinatorial approach with three separate statistical algorithms. A total of 36 genes met the criteria of upregulated expression in response to Stx1 treatment, with 14 genes uniquely upregulated by Stx1. Microarray data were validated by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR for genes encoding early growth response 1 (Egr-1) (transcriptional regulator), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2; inflammation), and dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1), DUSP5, and DUSP10 (regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling). Stx1-mediated signaling through extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and Egr-1 appears to be involved in the increased expression and production of the proinflammatory mediator tumor necrosis factor alpha. Activation of COX-2 is associated with the increased production of proinflammatory and vasoactive eicosanoids. However, the capacity of Stx1 to increase the expression of genes encoding phosphatases suggests that mechanisms to dampen the macrophage proinflammatory response may be built into host response to the toxins.

author list (cited authors)

  • Leyva-Illades, D., Cherla, R. P., Galindo, C. L., Chopra, A. K., & Tesh, V. L.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Leyva-Illades, Dinorah||Cherla, Rama P||Galindo, Cristi L||Chopra, Ashok K||Tesh, Vernon L

publication date

  • June 2010