Pertussis Toxin as a Pharmacological Tool

  • B. Nürnberg
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 145)


During the last two decades, bacterial toxins, e.g., pertussis toxin (PT), have become powerful pharmacological agents to identify and characterize biochemical entities involved in guanine-nucleotide-sensitive cellular responses elicited by hormones or neurotransmitters (Bourne et al. 1990, 1991; Wess 1998). PT in combination with radiolabeled nicotinamide adenine diphosphate cation (NAD+) or analogs thereof allowed probing of target proteins even in crude extracts. This sensitive technique has facilitated detection, isolation, identification and functional characterization of various members of the family of heterotrimeric regulatory guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins, i.e., G proteins (Milligan 1988; Gilman 1995). Moreover, even in the era of genetic targeting approaches, such as antisense-oligonucleotide strategies or the gene-“knock-out” technology, PT is appreciated as a valuable tool in cell biology for discovering novel G-protein-coupled signaling pathways (Gutkind 1998; Lefkowitz 1998).


Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid Pertussis Toxin Pharmacological Tool Amino Acid Amide 
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  • B. Nürnberg

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