Seeing a neurotoxin's deadly grip

Two Howard Hughes Medical Institute research teams working independently have discovered new information about how the botulinum neurotoxin shuts down neurons with deadly efficiency. By providing detailed views of the toxin plugged into its neuronal receptor, the new studies could aid efforts to engineer specialized versions of the powerful neurotoxin that is used to treat a wide array of medical problems.

The two groups were led by HHMI investigators Axel Brunger at Stanford University and Edwin Chapman at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They published their findings December 13, 2006, in advance online publications in the journal Nature.

"Botulinum neurotoxins are powerful tools for biologists and find widespread use as therapeutics for the treatment of certain nervous-system diseases," wrote Giampietro Schiavo of the London Research Institute in an accompanying News & Views commentary in Nature. "For these reasons, the papers reported here are of tremendous value."

Botulinum neurotoxins are among the most deadly natural toxins in the world. They act by first attaching themselves to receptors on the surface of neurons. The toxins then insinuate an enzyme into the neuron that degrades key proteins required for neurons to communicate with one another. The toxins principally affect muscle-controlling motor neurons activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They kill by paralyzing the respiratory muscles. There are seven structurally and functionally related botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), called serotypes A through G, with each acting in a slightly different manner. In 2004, Brungers group published an article in Nature detailing how the toxins that cause botulism and tetanus can recognize and attack particular nerve cell proteins at the neuromuscular junction. Researchers knew that the toxins simultaneously bind to two distinct neuronal receptors one a protein and one a sugar-containing lipid called ganglioside but the details of t

Contact: Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset
2. Seeing the serpent
3. Seeing beyond the gray areas: New tool uncovers the importance of the brains white matter
4. Seeing the forest and the trees
5. Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating National Biomass and Carbon Dataset
6. Seeing what protein C is all about
7. Research aims to identify markers for menopausal women at risk for deadly blood clot
8. Anthrax bacteriums deadly secrets probed
9. BRCA2 carriers at increased risk for deadly form of prostate cancer
10. Cornell lab confirms deadly fish virus spreading to new species
11. Gene that governs toxin production in deadly mold found

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 19, 2020 , ... ... and expo uniting life science, data science, informatics and IT leaders goes VIRTUAL ... this period of uncertainty and change, Bio-IT takes the leadership role of keeping ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... Both ... NJ, have entered into license agreements with Housey Pharma’s HMI subsidiary to gain ... and J&J have annual Research and Development spending in excess of US $10 ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Alucio™, a fast-growing provider of cloud-based software ... Jessica Wong have joined the company’s leadership team as Vice President of Engineering, ... development efforts for Alucio’s flagship product, Beacon, an innovative cloud-based content management and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... July 22, 2020 , ... Join experts from ... Sr. Manager Regulatory Solutions, in a one hour live webinar on Thursday, ... body in China for drugs and medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased to ... Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished and ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... July 09, 2020 ... ... novel approaches to cell therapy, today announced the hiring of Allen R. Nissenson, ... executive team and oversee the clinical development of Sentien’s lead product, SBI-101. ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing System ... its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. Awarded ... ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: