Botulinum toxin structure offers clues for vaccines/treatments

UPTON, NY -- By deciphering the near atomic-level structure of the catalytic domain of botulinum toxin type E -- one of seven neurotoxins that cause botulism, a disease that paralyzes victims by blocking nerve cells' ability to communicate -- scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are one step closer to a potential vaccine or treatment. Structures of the toxin and a related non-toxic version that differs by just one amino acid appear in the June 1, 2004 issue of the journal Biochemistry, available online May 8, 2004.

"Botulinum neurotoxins are the most toxic substances (by weight) known to humankind," said Brookhaven biologist Subramanyam Swaminathan, who leads the research team. "Because botulism is such a dreadful disease, and there are no current treatments, it creates great fear among people concerned about bioterror agents. That is why we are working so hard to understand the structures of the toxins and their mechanisms of action, so that this information can be used to design vaccines or drugs to combat the disease, and, almost as important, help mitigate the fear."

There are seven known varieties of botulinum toxin, types A-G. They block the release of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers nerve cells use to communicate with one another and with muscles, by cleaving one of three proteins needed to release these chemical messengers. The Brookhaven team's work deciphering the structure of the part of the type E toxin that does the cleaving has also yielded information on the toxin's mechanism of action. In addition, by changing just one amino acid of this portion of the toxin protein, the scientists have created a form with essentially the same structure but with no toxicity.

"This achievement gives two opportunities for developing therapeutic agents," Swaminathan said. "First, because of their structural similarity, the inactive protein could be used as a potential vaccine; an immune response

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Decreasing toxins in brains of Alzheimers patients keep cognitive deficits at bay
2. Protein vaccine fully protects mice from lethal aerosol challenge with ricin toxin
3. UCSD biologists discover cells defense mechanism against class of disease-causing bacterial toxins
4. Common chemicals morphing into potential toxins in Arctic
5. TIGR president discusses significance of finding anthrax toxin
6. Molecular image of genotoxin reveals how bacteria damage human DNA
7. Landmark, pivotal Phase IIb/III trial of biotoxin for cancer pain begins
8. Devastating parasitic weed may be felled by toxin borrowed from flies
9. Lakes with zebra mussels have higher levels of toxins, MSU research finds
10. Models help estimate childrens exposure to toxins
11. Approved drug blocks deadly anthrax toxin

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... First Aid Africa, a Scottish ... supplier and manufacturer of innovative portable renewable energy equipment, have announced the success ... the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia. , One of Renovagen’s FAST FOLD portable solar ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... WOODLNDS, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 ... ... X-ray analytical instrumentation, is pleased to announce the next event in a series ... X-ray scattering. , The TOPIQ series of webinars was developed in response to ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... ... The director of stem cell biotechnology company Asymmetrex , Dr. James ... industries have easier access to stem cell counting, they will soon make it a ... Day weekend in the U.S., Asymmetrex is offering free tissue stem cell counting at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 29, 2020 , ... DuPont Nutrition ... in Wuxi, China. The new plant operation will provide the local animal production ... , “This facility will improve the flexibility of our offerings to the ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 11, ... ... a biopharmaceutical cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for free ... the need to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics licensing ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health – MediVet Biologics rebrands company and positions its ... MediVet Biologics since its formation in 2016, the company is relaunching itself under the ... on its base of innovative therapies for osteoarthritis and cancer. , ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Anomet Products has introduced new custom composite ... with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, and related devices. , Anomet Medical Clad Wire ... and cost criteria; especially where solid wire is limited. Typical configurations for implantable ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: