Shiga toxin (green) and epidermal growth factor (red).Credit: Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay

Ordinarily, dangerous proteins taken up by the cell are routed via a compartment called the endosome to the lysosome, where they're destroyed. Shiga toxin, which can cause diarrhea and kidney failure, escapes this fate by hitching a ride on the GPP130 protein. The toxin eventually reaches the cell's watery interior, where it halts protein production and kills the cell. Pictured here, Shiga toxin (green) is sorted from the endosome into membrane tubules (red) that pinch off and move to the Golgi apparatus, where GPP130 resides. Manganese disrupts the toxin's usual movement. Early work in animal models suggests manganese could offer an inexpensive, life-saving treatment for millions of people worldwide. Read more... Link to external Web site

Featured in the February 16, 2012, issue of Biomedical Beat.

Learn more in the extended caption published on LiveScience Link to external Web site.