146 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus aureus is a prominent human pathogen capable of infecting a variety of host species and tissue sites. This versatility stems from the pathogen's ability to secrete diverse host-damaging virulence factors. Among these factors, the S. aureus pore-forming toxins (PFTs) α-toxin and the bicomponent leukocidins, have garnered much attention for their ability to lyse cells at low concentrations and modulate disease severity. Although many of these toxins were discovered nearly a century ago, their host cell specificities have only been elucidated over the past five to six years, starting with the discovery of the eukaryotic receptor for α-toxin and rapidly followed by identification of the leukocidin receptors. The identification of these receptors has revealed the species- and cell type-specificity of toxin binding, and provided insight into non-lytic effects of PFT intoxication that contribute to disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Alpha-toxin
  • Hemolysin
  • Leukocidin
  • Pore-forming toxins
  • S. aureus vaccines and therapeutics
  • Staphylococcus aureus


Dive into the research topics of 'Staphylococcus aureus pore-forming toxins: The interface of pathogen and host complexity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this