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:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... ... interim results from their 1801 Phase 1/2 study (NCT03678883, EudraCT #: 2018-003739-32) will ... which will take place virtually on May 29th, 2020. Dr. Benedito Carneiro, Brown ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... ... May 19, 2020 , ... ... software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of operations management solutions, today introduced BioMed to their ... a cloud-based platform for connecting the people and systems around biomedical engineering ...
(Date:5/15/2020)... FREDERICK, Md. (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2020 , ... ... a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Frederick, Maryland and Tysons Corner, Virginia, ... the field of biotechnology and a another in the field of chemistry. The firm ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... Lumeda Inc. ... cancer, today announced the company has entered a license agreement with Roswell Park ... Lumeda globally exclusive rights to Roswell Park intellectual property surrounding a novel medical ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... Ariz. (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2020 , ... ... is now offering an Amniosomes special offer. This includes buy three, get the ... should call (888) 568-6909. , Amniotic derived exosomes, known as exosomes, have been ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... June 08, 2020 , ... ... platform delivered through the use of proprietary clean viral vectors, recently announced a ... United States. Greffex’s platform is the world’s most successful gene therapy delivery ...
(Date:6/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Thought Technology Ltd. is offering a ... installment, Dr. Inna Khazan will discuss the benefits of using mindfulness techniques with ... the feelings, thoughts, and emotions they are having in the present moment and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: