Botulinum Toxin: Structure and Pharmacology

  • P. Hambleton
Conference paper

Abstract

Strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven antigenically distinct neurotoxic proteins (neurotoxins types A—G) that act primarily at peripheral cholinergic synapses blocking release of the neurotransmitter substance acetylcholine. This gives rise to Botulism, a rare but often fatal disease of man and other animals. The symptoms of the disease are a symmetrical, descending paralysis with impaired vision, dysphagia, widespread muscular weakness and, ultimately, death from respiratory failure. In humans, the most common cause of the disease is the ingestion of food containing pre-formed toxin produced as a result of the germination of contaminating C. botulinum spores and subsequent primarily with types A, B and E toxins, with type F responsible for a minority of outbreaks only.

Keywords

Zinc Toxicity Polypeptide Trypsin Cytosol 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Hambleton
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of BiologicsPHLS CAMRSalisbury, WiltshireUK

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