Toxins and enzymes of Clostridium perfringens type A

Smyth, Cyril J (1972) Toxins and enzymes of Clostridium perfringens type A. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The principal object of this investigation was to devise a convenient and rapid method for the purification of the alpha-toxin of Clostridium perfringens type A. Previous workers had experienced considerable difficulty in obtaining this factor free of the variety of extracellular toxins and enzymes produced by this organism. Despite the fact that it was the first toxin to have its mode of action defined in biochemical terms, many features remain in doubt in particular its physical characterisation. Moreover in light of the findings of Johnson and Bonventre (1967) with Bacillus cereus toxin, it was decided to re-investigate the possibility that the lecithinase, hot-cold haemolytic and lethal activities of this toxin were manifestations of a single moiety. In 1967 and 1968 Vesterberg and Wadstrom published a series of studies on the use of a new electrophoretic technique termed isoelectric focusing, in the purification and characterisation of the extracellular products of Staphylococcus aureus. Not only was the resolving power of this technique clearly demonstrated for a complex mixture of factors, but several of the staphylococcal products were shown to exist in multiple forms. Using isoelectric focusing, investigations were undertaken into the reported occurrence of multiple forms of Cl. perfringens alpha-toxin and their possible role in the unitarian concept of the biological activities of alpha-toxin. Moreover, a study of alpha-toxin was merited on the basis of the increasing use of alpha-toxin from commercial sources as a biochemical probe of membrane structure. As with many investigations avenues of research presented themselves as a by-product of these primary objectives. Indeed the simultaneous purification of collagenase, hyaluronidase and alpha-toxin of this organism as well as the alpha-toxin, to be investigated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: J P Arbuthnott
Keywords: Biochemistry, Microbiology
Date of Award: 1972
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1972-72340
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 15:12
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 15:12

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