Bacterial heat-stable enterotoxins: translation of pathogenic peptides into novel targeted diagnostics and therapeutics.

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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in Toxins.

Volume 2, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 2028-2054.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.3390/toxins2082028. Copyright © MDPI AG


Heat-stable toxins (STs) produced by enterotoxigenic bacteria cause endemic and traveler's diarrhea by binding to and activating the intestinal receptor guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C). Advances in understanding the biology of GC-C have extended ST from a diarrheagenic peptide to a novel therapeutic agent. Here, we summarize the physiological and pathophysiological role of GC-C in fluid-electrolyte regulation and intestinal crypt-villus homeostasis, as well as describe translational opportunities offered by STs, reflecting the unique characteristics of GC-C, in treating irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation, and in preventing and treating colorectal cancer.

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