Passage through the Golgi is necessary for Shiga toxin B subunit to reach the endoplasmic reticulum

Jenna McKenzie, Ludger Johannes, Tomohiko Taguchi, David Sheff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Both Shiga holotoxin and the isolated B subunit, navigate a retrograde pathway from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of mammalian cells to deliver catalytic A subunits into the cytosol. This route passes through early/recycling endosomes and then through the Golgi. Although passage through the endosomes takes only 30 min, passage through the Golgi is much slower, taking hours. This suggests that Golgi passage is a key step in retrograde traffic. However, there is no empirical data demonstrating that Golgi passage is required for the toxins to enter the ER. In fact, an alternate pathway bypassing the Golgi is utilized by SV40 virus. Here we find that blocking Shiga toxin B access to the entire Golgi with AlF4 - treatment, temperature block or subcellular surgery prevented Shiga toxin B from reaching the ER. This suggests that there is no direct endosome to ER route available for retrograde traffic. Curiously, when Shiga toxin B was trapped in endosomes, it entered the cytosol directly from the endosomal compartment. Our results suggest that trafficking through the Golgi apparatus is required for Shiga toxin B to reach the ER and that diversion into the Golgi may prevent toxin escape from endosomes into the cytosol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1595
Number of pages15
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Endosomes
  • Golgi
  • Membrane traffic
  • Retrograde traffic
  • Shiga toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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