The ADP-ribosylating enterotoxins, cholera toxin (CT) and the Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LT-IIa), have been shown to enhance mucosal and systemic antibody (Ab) responses to coadministered antigens. The purpose of the present study was to compare the ability of the nontoxic A2/B subunits of these toxins, which have distinct targeting properties, to augment the immunogenicity of a genetically coupled protein antigen. Structurally similar chimeric proteins were generated by genetically replacing the toxic A1 subunit of CT or LT-IIa with the saliva-binding region (SBR) from the streptococcal adhesin AgI/II. Intranasal immunization of BALB/c mice with either chimeric protein induced significantly higher plasma and mucosal anti-SBR immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG Ab responses than SBR alone. Moreover, compared to SBR-LT-IIaA2/B, SBR-CTA2/B elicited significantly higher levels of plasma IgG1 and salivary IgA anti-SBR Ab responses. Ex vivo and in vitro experiments revealed that SBR-CTA2/B selectively up-regulated B7-2 expression on murine B cells isolated from both the nasal associated lymphoid tissue, cervical lymph nodes, and spleen. In contrast, SBR-LT-IIaA2/B had little effect on B7-1 or B7-2 expression on B220(+), CD11b(+), or CD11c(+) cells. Analysis of the functional costimulatory activity of SBR-CTA2/B-treated B cells revealed a significant enhancement in anti-CD3-stimulated CD4(+) T-cell proliferative responses, and this proliferation was significantly reduced by treatment with anti-B7-2 but not with anti-B7-1 or isotype control Abs. Thus, SBR-CTA2/B and SBR-LT-IIaA2/B exhibit distinct patterns of antibody responses associated with differential effects on B7-2 expression and subsequent costimulatory effects on CD4(+) T cells.