Tetanolysin is a toxin produced by Clostridium tetani bacteria. Its function is unknown, but it is believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of tetanus. The other C. tetani toxin, tetanospasmin, is more definitively linked to tetanus. It is sensitive to oxygen.

OrganismClostridium tetani

Tetanolysin belongs to a family of protein toxins known as thiol-activated cytolysins, which bind to cholesterol.[1] It is related to streptolysin O and the θ-toxin of Clostridium perfringens.[2] Cytolysins form pores in the cytoplasmic membrane that allows for the passage of ions and other molecules into the cell. The molecular weight of tetanolysin is around 55,000 daltons.[3]


  1. ^ Billington, Stephen J.; Jost, B.Helen; Songer, J.Glenn (January 2000). "Thiol-activated cytolysins: structure, function and role in pathogenesis". FEMS Microbiology Letters. 182 (2): 195–205. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2000.tb08895.x. PMID 10620666.
  2. ^ Roper MH, Wassilak SG, Tiwari TS, Orenstein WA. "Tetanus toxoid". Vaccines (6th ed.). doi:10.1016/B978-1-4557-0090-5.00039-2. ISBN 9781455700905.
  3. ^ Tetanolysin

Further readingEdit

  • Alouf, J. (1997) pp 7–10 in Guidebook to Protein Toxins and Their Use in Cell Biology, Ed. Rappuoli, R. and Montecucco, C. (Oxford University Press).
  • Ahnert-Hilger, G., Pahner, I., and Höltje, M. (1999) Pore-forming Toxins as Cell Biological and Pharmacological Tools. In press.
  • Conti, A., Brando, C., DeBell, K.E., Alava, M.A., Hoffman, T., Bonvini, E. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 783-791.
  • Raya, S.A., Trembovler, V., Shohami, E. and Lazarovici, P. (1993) Nat. Toxins 1, 263-70.