The properties of Bacillus cereus hemolysin II pores depend on environmental conditions

Zhanna I. Andreeva, Vladimir F. Nesterenko, Maria G. Fomkina, Vadim I. Ternovsky, Natalia E. Suzina, Anastasia Yu Bakulina, Alexander S. Solonin, Elena V. Sineva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Hemolysin II (HlyII), one of several cytolytic proteins encoded by the opportunistic human pathogen Bacillus cereus, is a member of the family of oligomeric β-barrel pore-forming toxins. This work has studied the pore-forming properties of HlyII using a number of biochemical and biophysical approaches. According to electron microscopy, HlyII protein interacts with liposomes to form ordered heptamer-like macromolecular assemblies with an inner pore diameter of 1.5-2 nm and an outer diameter of 6-8 nm. This is consistent with inner pore diameter obtained from osmotic protection assay. According to the 3D model obtained, seven HlyII monomers might form a pore, the outer size of which has been estimated to be slightly larger than by the other method, with an inner diameter changing from 1 to 4 nm along the channel length. The hemolysis rate has been found to be temperature-dependent, with an explicit lag at lower temperatures. Temperature jump experiments have indicated the pore structures formed at 37 °C and 4 °C to be different. The channels formed by HlyII are anion-selective in lipid bilayers and show a rising conductance as the salt concentration increases. The results presented show for the first time that at high salt concentration HlyII pores demonstrate voltage-induced gating observed at low negative potentials. Taken together we have found that the membrane-binding properties of hemolysin II as well as the properties of its pores strongly depend on environmental conditions. The study of the properties together with structural modeling allows a better understanding of channel functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The properties of Bacillus cereus hemolysin II pores depend on environmental conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this