Pharmacologic action of Escherichia coli heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin

Floyd C. Knoop, Michaela Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Escherichia coli produces a heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin that belongs to a family of peptides that mediate several diarrheal diseases, including traveler's diarrhea and epidemic diarrhea in infants and newborns. The STa enterotoxin consists of 18 or 19 amino acids and is encoded by genes specified on a transposon. Intestinal secretion is induced by specific binding to high affinity receptors that reside on the brush border cell membrane of the small intestine. Receptor activation by STa enterotoxin induces a sequence of events that culminate in the release of fluid and electrolytes into the intestinal lumen. These events include the stimulation of particulate guanylate cyclae and subsequent increase of intracellular cyclic GMP, involvement of particulate protein kinase, elevation of intracellular calcium, and activation of the phosphatidylinositol pathway. The release of arachidonic acid and production of prostaglandins and/or leukotrienes have also been implicated in the action of STa. Evidence indicates that the STa enterotoxin receptor may be a single multifunctional membrane protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacologic action of Escherichia coli heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this