Immunotoxins pp 141-159 | Cite as

Immunotoxins containing ricin

  • Daniel A. Vallera
  • Dorothea E. Myers
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 37)


Bacterial and plant toxins composed of different protein subunits with diverse biological functions have provided an investigational focal point for researchers in many areas of specialization. Potent catalytic toxins have been linked to monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) for antibody directed cell targeting. These immunotoxins (ITs) have promoted interest for a variety of clinical purposes including cancer therapy, treatment of autoimmune diseases, immunoregulation, and bone marrow transplantation. Although many toxins are currently under investigation by numerous laboratories, the toxin ricin has been used extensively for specific reasons: 1) Ricin is a well defined catalytic inhibitor of protein synthesis at the level of the 60S ribosome. A single molecule of ricin A chain (RTA) in the cytosol can kill a cell, inactivating up to 1500 ribosomes per minute [1]. 2) Ricin has been studied for several centuries, but with accelerated interest over the past 10 years. 3) In the 1970s, unconjugated ricin was clinically tested for its antitumor potential. Although effective, the risk of toxicity to nontarget tissue was prohibitive. 4) Ricin is available in large quantities and because of its binding component is easily purified from seeds of the nonexotic castor bean plant, Ricinus communis.


Bone Marrow Transplantation Ammonium Chloride Diphtheria Toxin Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation Galactose Binding 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Vallera
  • Dorothea E. Myers

There are no affiliations available

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