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Tetanolysin is a toxin produced by Clostridium tetani bacteria.

Clostridium tetani, the causative agent of the disease tetanus, produces two exotoxins, tetanolysin and tetanospasmin. The function of tetanolysin is not known with certainty but there is data that suggests tetanolysin may contribute to the pathogenesis of tetanus.

Tetanolysin belongs to a family of protein toxins known as cytolysins which bind to cholesterol. 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 approximately 55,000 daltons.[1]


  • 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.