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Sample records for human eosinophil-derived neurotoxin

  1. Basic Amino Acid Residues of Human Eosinophil Derived Neurotoxin Essential for Glycosaminoglycan Binding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Ta-Jen; Chang, Wei-Tang; Tomiya, Noboru; Lee, Yuan-Chuan; Chang, Hao-Teng; Chen, Chien-Jung; Kuo, Ping-Hsueh; Fan, Tan-chi; Chang, Margaret Dah-Tsyr

    2013-01-01

    Human eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EDN), a granule protein secreted by activated eosinophils, is a biomarker for asthma in children. EDN belongs to the human RNase A superfamily possessing both ribonucleolytic and antiviral activities. EDN interacts with heparin oligosaccharides and heparin sulfate proteoglycans on bronchial epithelial Beas-2B cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the binding of EDN to cells requires cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and the binding strength between EDN and GAGs depends on the sulfation levels of GAGs. Furthermore, in silico computer modeling and in vitro binding assays suggest critical roles for the following basic amino acids located within heparin binding regions (HBRs) of EDN 34QRRCKN39 (HBR1), 65NKTRKN70 (HBR2), and 113NRDQRRD119 (HBR3) and in particular Arg35, Arg36, and Arg38 within HBR1, and Arg114 and Arg117 within HBR3. Our data suggest that sulfated GAGs play a major role in EDN binding, which in turn may be related to the cellular effects of EDN. PMID:24065103

  2. Eosinophil protein X/eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EPX/EDN). Detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and purification from normal human urine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reimert, C M; Minuva, U; Kharazmi, A

    1991-01-01

    Eosinophil protein X/eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EPX/EDN) is one of the cationic proteins found in the granules of the human eosinophilic granulocytes. EPX was purified from extracts of granules isolated from blood buffy coat cells of healthy donors. Polyclonal anti-EPX antibodies were...... subsequently raised in rabbits. The anti-EPX-antibodies raised in rabbits showed no reactivity with other proteins in the granule extract. The sandwich ELISA utilized the biotin/avidin amplification system and measured EPX over the range of 60-2000 pg/ml. The intra- and interassay coefficients of variation...... procedure involving affinity chromatography on heparin Sepharose and size exclusion chromatography on Sephadex G-50 superfine. Extracted EPX and U-EPX had ribonuclease activity and comigrated on agarose electrophoresis. They also showed immunological identity when evaluated with rabbit anti-EPX antibodies...

  3. Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, elastase, and cytokine profile in effusion from eosinophilic otitis media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchimizu, Hirotaka; Matsuwaki, Yoshinori; Kato, Masahiko; Otori, Nobuyosi; Kojima, Hiromi

    2015-09-01

    Eosinophilic otitis media (EOM) is an intractable disease characterized by a remarkably viscous effusion and accumulation of numerous eosinophils in both the middle ear effusion and the mucosa. The key factors in EOM pathogenesis remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to identify the important factors involved in EOM pathogenesis. Middle ear effusion samples were collected from 12 patients with EOM and 9 patients with secretory otitis media (SOM), as controls. Multiple cytokines in the effusion were measured using a Bio-Plex™ Human Cytokine 27-Plex panel. Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) and elastase were measured by ELISA. The concentrations of EDN, elastase, and each cytokine were compared between the EOM and SOM groups. Furthermore, in the EOM group, each cytokine was examined for correlation with EDN and elastase. EDN and elastase concentrations were significantly higher in the EOM group than in the SOM group (p < 0.05). IL-5, IL-1β, MIP-1α, G-CSF, IL-1ra, IL-4, IFN-γ, MIP-1β, IL-10, TNF-α, VEGF, and IL-2 concentration was significantly higher in the EOM group than in the SOM group (p < 0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between EDN and IL-1ra, IL-2, IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, eotaxin, MIP-1α, PDGF-BB, and RANTES in the EOM group (p < 0.05). Our study showed that IL-5, IL-2, MIP-1α, and IL-1ra are the important factors involved in EOM pathogenesis. Furthermore, not only eosinophil, but also neutrophil are involved in middle ear inflammation of EOM. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society of Allergology. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Utility of serum eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) measurement by ELISA in young children with asthma.

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    Kim, Chang-Keun; Callaway, Zak; Park, Jin-Sung; Kwon, Eunmi

    2017-01-01

    This study was done to compare the efficacy of a recently developed eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) ELISA kit ("BioTracer™ K(®) EDN ELISA Kit") to a commercially available EDN ELISA kit ("MBL EDN ELISA Kit") and demonstrate the usefulness of serum EDN measurement in young asthmatic children. Forty-eight children with physician-diagnosed asthma (Asthma group) and 31 age-matched normal controls (Control group) were recruited from the Asthma and Allergy Center at Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea from January 2010 to September of 2012. EDN levels in each serum specimen were measured 2 times using the: 1) BioTracer™ K(®) EDN ELISA Kit and 2) MBL EDN ELISA Kit at the Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital laboratory. EDN level measurements in each serum specimen were compared. EDN measurements from the BioTracer™ K(®) EDN ELISA Kit correlated well with those from the MBL EDN ELISA Kit: r = 0.9472 at the Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital laboratory. These r values were considered both clinically relevant (i.e., r > 0.85) and statistically significant (p asthma symptom severity (p asthma patient serum. Because of our kit's distinct advantages and utility, we suggest this kit can be used for the timely diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of asthma in asthma patients of all ages, especially those too young to perform pulmonary function tests. Copyright © 2016 Japanese Society of Allergology. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Engineered botulinum neurotoxin B with improved efficacy for targeting human receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Liang; Peng, Lisheng; Berntsson, Ronnie P-A; Liu, Sai Man; Park, SunHyun; Yu, Feifan; Boone, Christopher; Palan, Shilpa; Beard, Matthew; Chabrier, Pierre-Etienne; Stenmark, Pål; Krupp, Johannes; Dong, Min

    2017-07-03

    Botulinum neurotoxin B is a Food and Drug Administration-approved therapeutic toxin. However, it has lower binding affinity toward the human version of its major receptor, synaptotagmin II (h-Syt II), compared to mouse Syt II, because of a residue difference. Increasing the binding affinity to h-Syt II may improve botulinum neurotoxin B's therapeutic efficacy and reduce adverse effects. Here we utilized the bacterial adenylate cyclase two-hybrid method and carried out a saturation mutagenesis screen in the Syt II-binding pocket of botulinum neurotoxin B. The screen identifies E1191 as a key residue: replacing it with M/C/V/Q enhances botulinum neurotoxin B binding to human synaptotagmin II. Adding S1199Y/W or W1178Q as a secondary mutation further increases binding affinity. Mutant botulinum neurotoxin B containing E1191M/S1199Y exhibits ~11-fold higher efficacy in blocking neurotransmission than wild-type botulinum neurotoxin B in neurons expressing human synaptotagmin II, demonstrating that enhancing receptor binding increases the overall efficacy at functional levels. The engineered botulinum neurotoxin B provides a platform to develop therapeutic toxins with improved efficacy.Humans are less sensitive to the therapeutic effects of botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) than the animal models it is tested on due to differences between the human and the mouse receptors. Here, the authors engineer BoNT/B to improve its affinity to human receptors and enhance its therapeutic efficacy.

  6. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype D is poorly effective in humans: an in vivo electrophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleopra, Roberto; Montecucco, Cesare; Devigili, Grazia; Lettieri, Christian; Rinaldo, Sara; Verriello, Lorenzo; Pirazzini, Marco; Caccin, Paola; Rossetto, Ornella

    2013-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins act on nerve endings and block neurotransmitter release. Their potency is due to their enzymatic activity and high affinity binding to neurons. Botulinum toxin type A is used in the treatment of human diseases characterized by hyperactivity of peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals, but some patients are or become resistant to it. This can be overcome by using other botulinum toxins, and studies have been performed with different toxin serotypes. Botulinum neurotoxin type D has never been tested in humans in vivo, and, therefore, we investigated the action of this toxin in mouse and human muscles. Botulinum toxin type D potency was determined on mouse hemidiaphragm and on rat neuronal cultures. From these experiments, doses to be injected in human volunteers were decided. The compound muscle action potential of toxin-injected Extensor Digitorum Brevis muscle was measured at different times points after injection in human volunteers. Botulinum toxin type D is poorly effective in inducing human skeletal muscle paralysis. Botulinum toxin type D is very potent in mice and almost ineffective in humans in vivo. The results shed new light on the mechanism of toxin type D binding to the neuronal surface receptors. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. A label-free biosensor assay for botulinum neurotoxin B in food and human serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferracci, Géraldine; Marconi, Séverine; Mazuet, Christelle; Jover, Emmanuel; Blanchard, Marie-Pierre; Seagar, Michael; Popoff, Michel; Lévêque, Christian

    2011-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most toxic substances known. Surveillance and diagnostics require methods for rapid detection of BoNTs in complex media such as foodstuffs and human serum. We have developed in vitro assays to specifically detect the protease activity of botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) on a time scale of minutes. Cleavage of the BoNT/B substrate VAMP2, a membrane SNARE protein associated with synaptic vesicles, was monitored using real-time surface plasmon resonance to measure vesicle capture by specific antibodies coupled to microchips. The assay is functional in low-ionic-strength buffers and stable over a wide range of pH values (5.5-9.0). Endoproteolytic cleavage of VAMP2 was detected in 10 min with 2 pM native BoNT/B holotoxin. Contamination of liquid food products such as carrot juice, apple juice, and milk with low picomolar amounts of BoNT/B was revealed within 3h. BoNT/B activity was detected in sera from patients with type B botulism but not in healthy controls or patients with other neurological diseases. This robust, sensitive, and rapid protein chip assay is appropriate for monitoring BoNT/B in food products and diagnostic tests for type B botulism and could replace the current in vivo mouse bioassay. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The Metal Neurotoxins: An Important Role in Current Human Neural Epidemics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Schofield

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Many published studies have illustrated that several of the present day neurological epidemics (autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s cannot be correlated to any single neurotoxicant. However, the present scientific examination of the numerous global blood monitoring databases for adults that include the concentrations of the neurotoxic elements, aluminum (Al, arsenic (As, lead (Pb, manganese (Mn, mercury (Hg, and selenium (Se clearly indicate that, when considered in combination, for some, the human body may become easily over-burdened. This can be explained by changes in modern lifestyles. Similar data, solely for pregnant women, have been examined confirming this. All these elements are seen to be present in the human body and at not insignificant magnitudes. Currently suggested minimum risk levels (MRL for humans are discussed and listed together with averages of the reported distributions, together with their spread and maximum values. One observation is that many distributions for pregnant women are not too dissimilar from those of general populations. Women obviously have their individual baseline of neurotoxin values before pregnancy and any efforts to modify this to any significant degree is not yet clearly apparent. For any element, distribution shapes are reasonably similar showing broad distributions with extended tails with numerous outlier values. There are a certain fraction of people that lie well above the MRL values and may be at risk, especially if genetically susceptible. Additionally, synergistic effects between neurotoxins and with other trace metals are now also being reported. It appears prudent for women of child-bearing age to establish their baseline values well before pregnancy. Those at risk then can be better identified. Adequate instrumental testing now is commercially available for this. In addition, directives are necessary for vaccination programs to use only non-neurotoxic adjuvants, especially for

  9. Resveratrol preconditioning increases methionine sulfoxide reductases A expression and enhances resistance of human neuroblastoma cells to neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Peng-Fei; Xie, Na; Zhang, Juan-Juan; Guan, Xin-Lei; Zhou, Jun; Long, Li-Hong; Li, Yuan-Long; Xiong, Qiu-Ju; Zeng, Jian-Hua; Wang, Fang; Chen, Jian-Guo

    2013-06-01

    Methionine sulfoxide reductases A (MsrA) has been postulated to act as a catalytic antioxidant system involved in the protection of oxidative stress-induced cell injury. Recently, attention has turned to MsrA in coupling with the pathology of Parkinson's disease, which is closely related to neurotoxins that cause dopaminergic neuron degeneration. Here, we firstly provided evidence that pretreatment with a natural polyphenol resveratrol (RSV) up-regulated the expression of MsrA in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. It was also observed that the expression and nuclear translocation of forkhead box group O 3a (FOXO3a), a transcription factor that activates the human MsrA promoter, increased after RSV pretreatment. Nicotinamide , an inhibitor of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), prevented RSV-induced elevation of FOXO3a and MsrA expression, indicating that the effect of RSV was mediated by a SIRT1-dependent pathway. RSV preconditioning increased methionine sulfoxide(MetO)-reducing activity in SH-SY5Y cells and enhanced their resistance to neurotoxins, including chloramine-T and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium. In addition, the enhancement of cell resistance to neurotoxins caused by RSV preconditioning can be largely prevented by MsrA inhibitor dimethyl sulfoxide. Our findings suggest that treatment with polyphenols such as RSV can be used as a potential regulatory strategy for MsrA expression and function. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin by a human monoclonal antibody specific for the catalytic light chain.

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    Sharad P Adekar

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are a family of category A select bioterror agents and the most potent biological toxins known. Cloned antibody therapeutics hold considerable promise as BoNT therapeutics, but the therapeutic utility of antibodies that bind the BoNT light chain domain (LC, a metalloprotease that functions in the cytosol of cholinergic neurons, has not been thoroughly explored.We used an optimized hybridoma method to clone a fully human antibody specific for the LC of serotype A BoNT (BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody demonstrated potent in vivo neutralization when administered alone and collaborated with an antibody specific for the HC. In Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cells, the 4LCA antibody prevented the cleavage of the BoNT/A proteolytic target, SNAP-25. Unlike an antibody specific for the HC, the 4LCA antibody did not block entry of BoNT/A into cultured cells. Instead, it was taken up into synaptic vesicles along with BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody also directly inhibited BoNT/A catalytic activity in vitro.An antibody specific for the BoNT/A LC can potently inhibit BoNT/A in vivo and in vitro, using mechanisms not previously associated with BoNT-neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies specific for BoNT LC may be valuable components of an antibody antidote for BoNT exposure.

  11. Development of Germline-Humanized Antibodies Neutralizing Botulinum Neurotoxin A and B.

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    Sebastian Miethe

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are counted among the most toxic substances known and are responsible for human botulism, a life-threatening disease characterized by flaccid muscle paralysis that occurs naturally by food poisoning or colonization of the gastrointestinal tract by BoNT-producing clostridia. To date, 7 serologically distinct serotypes of BoNT (serotype A-G are known. Due to the high toxicity of BoNTs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC have classified BoNTs as category A agent, including the six biological agents with the highest potential risk of use as bioweapons. Well tolerated antibodies neutralizing BoNTs are required to deal with the potential risk. In a previous work, we described the development of scFv and scFv-Fc (Yumab from macaque origin (Macaca fascicularis neutralizing BoNT/A and B by targeting the heavy and light chain of each serotype. In the present study, we humanized the macaque antibodies SEM120-IIIC1 (anti-BoNT/A light chain, A1HC38 (anti-BoNT/A heavy chain, BLC3 (anti-BoNT/B light chain and B2-7 (anti-BoNT/B heavy chain by germline-humanization to obtain a better potential immunotolerance in humans. We increased the Germinality Index (GI of SEM120-IIIC1 to 94.5%, for A1HC38, to 95% for BLC3 and to 94.4% for B2-7. Furthermore, the neutralization efficacies of the germline-humanized antibodies were analyzed in lethal and non-lethal in vivo mouse assays as full IgG. The germline-humanized IgGs hu8SEM120-IIIC1, hu8A1HC38, hu8BLC3 and hu8B2-7 were protective in vivo, when anti-heavy and anti-light chain antibodies were combined. The synergistic effect and high humanness of the selected IgGs makes them promising lead candidates for further clinical development.

  12. Explaining human recreational use of 'pesticides': The neurotoxin regulation model of substance use vs. the hijack model and implications for age and sex differences in drug consumption

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    Edward H Hagen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Most globally popular drugs are plant neurotoxins or their close chemical analogs. These compounds evolved to deter, not reward or reinforce, consumption. Moreover, they reliably activate virtually all toxin defense mechanisms, and are thus correctly identified by human neurophysiology as toxins. Acute drug toxicity must therefore play a more central role in drug use theory. We accordingly challenge the popular idea that the rewarding and reinforcing properties of drugs "hijack" the brain, and propose instead that the brain evolved to carefully regulate neurotoxin consumption to minimize fitness costs and maximize fitness benefits. This perspective provides a compelling explanation for the dramatic changes in substance use that occur during the transition from childhood to adulthood, and for pervasive sex differences in substance use: because nicotine and many other plant neurotoxins are teratogenic, children, and to a lesser extent women of childbearing age, evolved to avoid ingesting them. However, during the course of human evolution many adolescents and adults reaped net benefits from regulated intake of plant neurotoxins.

  13. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... These are botulinum neurotoxin type A (trade names Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) and botulinum neurotoxin type B ( ... is commercially available in the United States as Botox from Allergan, Inc, Dysport from Ipsen, Ltd, and ...

  14. Gangliosides in human, cow and goat milk, and their abilities as to neutralization of cholera toxin and botulinum type A neurotoxin.

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    Iwamori, Masao; Takamizawa, Kotarou; Momoeda, Mikio; Iwamori, Yuriko; Taketani, Yuji

    2008-10-01

    To elucidate the potential of mammalian milk as to protection of infants from infections, we determined the ganglioside compositions of human, cow and goat milk in relation with cholera toxin and botulinum type A neurotoxin-receptors. Gangliosides accounted for 1 to 2 micromol of lipid-bound sialic acid (LSA) in 100 ml of milk, and GD3 comprised about 69% of LSA in all milk samples. Among the milk samples examined, goat milk was found to contain an amount of gangliosides belonging to the b-pathway representing 15.8% of the total LSA. Accordingly, botulinum neurotoxin bound to GT1b and GQ1b in goat milk, but not to any gangliosides in human or cow milk. On the other hand, GM1, the cholera toxin receptor, was found to be present in all milk samples at concentrations of 0.02% to 0.77% of the total LSA and to be maintained at a relatively constant level in human milk during the postpartum period. Gangliosides from 1 ml of pooled human milk exhibited the ability to attenuate the binding of cholera toxin (30 ng) to GM1 by 93%, and those from 500 microl of goat milk completely inhibited the binding of botulinum type A neurotoxin 1.5 microg to GT1b.

  15. Identification and Characterization of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Substrate Binding Pockets and Their Re-Engineering for Human SNAP-23.

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    Sikorra, Stefan; Litschko, Christa; Müller, Carina; Thiel, Nadine; Galli, Thierry; Eichner, Timo; Binz, Thomas

    2016-01-29

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent bacterial proteins that block neurotransmitter release at the neuromuscular junction by cleaving SNAREs (soluble N-ethyl maleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors). However, their serotype A (BoNT/A) that cleaves SNAP-25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa) has also been an established pharmaceutical for treatment of medical conditions that rely on hyperactivity of cholinergic nerve terminals for 25 years. The expansion of its use to a variety of further medical conditions associated with hypersecretion components is prevented partly because the involved SNARE isoforms are not cleaved. Therefore, we examined by mutational analyses the reason for the resistance of human SNAP-23, an isoform of SNAP-25. We show that replacement of 10 SNAP-23 residues with their SNAP-25 counterparts effects SNAP-25-like cleavability. Conversely, transfer of each of the replaced SNAP-23 residues to SNAP-25 drastically decreased the cleavability of SNAP-25. By means of the existing SNAP-25-toxin co-crystal structure, molecular dynamics simulations, and corroborative mutagenesis studies, the appropriate binding pockets for these residues in BoNT/A were characterized. Systematic mutagenesis of two major BoNT/A binding pockets was conducted in order to adapt these pockets to corresponding amino acids of human SNAP-23. Human SNAP-23 cleaving mutants were isolated using a newly established yeast-based screening system. This method may be useful for engineering novel BoNT/A pharmaceuticals for the treatment of diseases that rely on SNAP-23-mediated hypersecretion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. High Conservation of Tetanus and Botulinum Neurotoxins Cleavage Sites on Human SNARE Proteins Suggests That These Pathogens Exerted Little or No Evolutionary Pressure on Humans

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    Carle, Stefan; Barth, Holger; Montecucco, Cesare

    2017-01-01

    The Genome Aggregation Database presently contains >120,000 human genomes. We searched in this database for the presence of mutations at the sites of tetanus (TeNT) and botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cleavages of the three SNARE proteins: VAMP, SNAP-25 and Syntaxin. These mutations could account for some of the BoNT/A resistant patients. At the same time, this approach was aimed at testing the possibility that TeNT and BoNT may have acted as selective agents in the development of resistance to tetanus or botulism. We found that mutations of the SNARE proteins are very rare and concentrated outside the SNARE motif required for the formation of the SNARE complex involved in neuroexocytosis. No changes were found at the BoNT cleavage sites of VAMP and syntaxins and only one very rare mutation was found in the essential C-terminus region of SNAP-25, where Arg198 was replaced with a Cys residue. This is the P1’ cleavage site for BoNT/A and the P1 cleavage site for BoNT/C. We found that the Arg198Cys mutation renders SNAP-25 resistant to BoNT/A. Nonetheless, its low frequency (1.8 × 10−5) indicates that mutations of SNAP-25 at the BoNT/A cleavage site are unlikely to account for the existence of BoNT/A resistant patients. More in general, the present findings indicate that tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins have not acted as selective agents during human evolution as it appears to have been the case for tetanus in rats and chicken. PMID:29257047

  17. High Conservation of Tetanus and Botulinum Neurotoxins Cleavage Sites on Human SNARE Proteins Suggests That These Pathogens Exerted Little or No Evolutionary Pressure on Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Carle

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Genome Aggregation Database presently contains >120,000 human genomes. We searched in this database for the presence of mutations at the sites of tetanus (TeNT and botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs cleavages of the three SNARE proteins: VAMP, SNAP-25 and Syntaxin. These mutations could account for some of the BoNT/A resistant patients. At the same time, this approach was aimed at testing the possibility that TeNT and BoNT may have acted as selective agents in the development of resistance to tetanus or botulism. We found that mutations of the SNARE proteins are very rare and concentrated outside the SNARE motif required for the formation of the SNARE complex involved in neuroexocytosis. No changes were found at the BoNT cleavage sites of VAMP and syntaxins and only one very rare mutation was found in the essential C-terminus region of SNAP-25, where Arg198 was replaced with a Cys residue. This is the P1’ cleavage site for BoNT/A and the P1 cleavage site for BoNT/C. We found that the Arg198Cys mutation renders SNAP-25 resistant to BoNT/A. Nonetheless, its low frequency (1.8 × 10−5 indicates that mutations of SNAP-25 at the BoNT/A cleavage site are unlikely to account for the existence of BoNT/A resistant patients. More in general, the present findings indicate that tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins have not acted as selective agents during human evolution as it appears to have been the case for tetanus in rats and chicken.

  18. Neurotoxins in a water supply reservoir: An alert to environmental and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calado, Sabrina Loise de Morais; Wojciechowski, Juliana; Santos, Gustavo Souza; Magalhães, Valéria Freitas de; Padial, André Andrian; Cestari, Marta Margarete; Silva de Assis, Helena Cristina da

    2017-02-01

    Reservoirs are important source of power generation, recreation, and water supply. Nevertheless, human activities have favored the bloom of toxic cyanobacteria in many reservoirs, which has resulted in environmental, social, and economic problems. This study aims to evaluate the water quality of a reservoir in South Brazil through the analysis of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins PSTs (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins) and biomarkers of environmental contamination in fish. For this purpose, water samples and fish (Geophagus brasiliensis) (Perciformes: Cichlidae) were collected from September 2013 to May 2014. The fish G. brasiliensis were separated in two groups. The first one "site group" was euthanized after the sampling and their weight and length were measured. The blood, brain, muscle and liver were collected for chemical, biochemical and genetics biomarkers analysis. The second group "depuration group" was submitted to depuration experiment for 40 days in clean water. After that, the same procedures as for the first group were carried out. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii was the dominant cyanobacteria found in the reservoir, and it showed a density above the recommended limit by Brazilian legislation of 20,000 cells/mL. Results showed that the fish accumulate PSTs in the Reservoir and these were not eliminated after 40 days. The biochemical and genotoxic biomarkers showed a significant difference between "site groups" and "depuration groups", which suggests a recovery of the antioxidant system and a reduction of cellular damage after 40 days in clean water. In conjunction with results reported earlier by others, Alagados Reservoir, in South Brazil, appears to have a persistent contamination of cyanotoxins. Moreover, the mixture of contaminants which may be present in the water body can explain the seasonal differences in fish at the sampled points. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ophiophagus hannah Venom: Proteome, Components Bound by Naja kaouthia Antivenin and Neutralization by N. kaouthia Neurotoxin-Specific Human ScFv

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    Witchuda Danpaiboon

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5’-nucleotidase. N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins.

  20. Ophiophagus hannah venom: proteome, components bound by Naja kaouthia antivenin and neutralization by N. kaouthia neurotoxin-specific human ScFv.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danpaiboon, Witchuda; Reamtong, Onrapak; Sookrung, Nitat; Seesuay, Watee; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Dong-din-on, Fonthip; Srimanote, Potjanee; Thueng-in, Kanyarat; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-05-13

    Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5'-nucleotidase). N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv) cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins.

  1. Comparison of sea snake (Hydrophiidae) neurotoxin to cobra (Naja) neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komori, Yumiko; Nagamizu, Masaya; Uchiya, Kei-Ichi; Nikai, Toshiaki; Tu, Anthony T

    2009-12-01

    Both sea snakes and cobras have venoms containing postsynaptic neurotoxins. Comparison of the primary structures indicates many similarities, especially the positions of the four disulfide bonds. However, detailed examination reveals differences in several amino acid residues. Amino acid sequences of sea snake neurotoxins were determined, and then compared to cobra neurotoxins by computer modeling. This allowed for easy comparison of the similarities and differences between the two types of postsynaptic neurotoxins. Comparison of computer models for the toxins of sea snakes and cobra will reveal the three dimensional difference of the toxins much clearer than the amino acid sequence alone.

  2. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SWAMINATHAN,S.; ESWARAMOORTHY,S.

    2001-11-19

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases [1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD{sub 50} for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg{sup -1} [2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization [3].

  3. [Action mechanisms of botulinum neurotoxins and tetanus neurotoxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deloye, F; Doussau, F; Poulain, B

    1997-01-01

    Tetanus (TeNT) neurotoxin and botulinum (BoNT, serotypes A-G) neurotoxins are di-chain bacterial proteins of MW-150 kDa which are also termed as clostridial neurotoxins. They are the only causative agents of two severe neuroparalytic diseases, namely tetanus and botulism. The peripheral muscle spasms which characterise tetanus are due to a blockade of inhibitory (GABAergic and glycinergic) synapses in the central nervous system leading to a motor neurones desinhibition. In contrast, botulism symptoms are only peripheral. They are consequent to a near irreversible and highly selective inhibition of acetyl-choline release at the motor nerve endings innervating skeletal muscles. During the past decade, the cellular and molecular modes of action of clostridial neurotoxins has been near completely elucidated. After a binding step of the neurotoxins to specific membrane acceptors located only on nerve terminals, BoNTs and TeNT are internalized into neurons. Inside their target neurones, the intracellularly active moiety (their light chain) is translocated from the endosomal compartment to the cytosol. The neurotoxins' light chains are zinc-dependent (endopeptidases which are specific for one among three synaptic proteins (VAMP/synaptobrevin, syntaxin or SNAP-25) implicated in neurotransmitter exocytosis. The presence of distinct targets for BoNTs and TeNT correlates well with the observed quantal alterations of neurotransmitter release which characterize certain toxin serotypes. In addition, evidence for a second, non-proteolytic, inhibitory mechanism of action has been provided recently. Most likely, this additional blocking action involves the activation of neurone transglutaminases. Due to their specific action on key proteins of the exocytosis apparatus, clostridial neurotoxins are now widely used as molecular tools to study exocytosis.

  4. Crystal structures of human pyridoxal kinase in complex with the neurotoxins, ginkgotoxin and theophylline: insights into pyridoxal kinase inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Amit K; Desai, Jigar V; Ghatge, Mohini S; di Salvo, Martino L; Di Biase, Stefano; Danso-Danquah, Richmond; Musayev, Faik N; Contestabile, Roberto; Schirch, Verne; Safo, Martin K

    2012-01-01

    Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase (hPL kinase), resulting in deficiency of the active cofactor form of vitamin B₆, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP). Pyridoxal (PL), an inactive form of vitamin B₆ is converted to PLP by PL kinase. PLP is the B₆ vitamer required as a cofactor for over 160 enzymatic activities essential in primary and secondary metabolism. We have performed structural and kinetic studies on hPL kinase with several potential inhibitors, including ginkgotoxin and theophylline. The structural studies show ginkgotoxin and theophylline bound at the substrate site, and are involved in similar protein interactions as the natural substrate, PL. Interestingly, the phosphorylated product of ginkgotoxin is also observed bound at the active site. This work provides insights into the molecular basis of hPL kinase inhibition and may provide a working hypothesis to quickly screen or identify neurotoxic drugs as potential hPL kinase inhibitors. Such adverse effects may be prevented by administration of an appropriate form of vitamin B₆, or provide clues of how to modify these drugs to help reduce their hPL kinase inhibitory effects.

  5. [COMPARISON OF CYTOPROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF HEMANTANE AND AMANTADINE UNDER CONDITIONS OF 6-HYDROXYDOPAMINE NEUROTOXIN ACTION ON CULTURED HUMAN NEUROBLASTOMA CELLS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logvinov, I O; Antipova, T A; Nepoklonov, A V; Valdman, E A

    2016-01-01

    Potential neuroprotective activity of the novel antiparkinsonian drug hemantane (hydrochloride N-2-(adamantyl)-hexamethylenimine) in comparison to amantadine has been studied in various regimes of administration on human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line injury induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), which is used as in vitro model of dopaminergic neurons for Parkinson's disease. Two regimes of hemantane and amantadine administration in a range of final concentrations 10⁻⁶-10⁻⁸ M were used either prior to or immediately after 6-OHDA introduction. MTT colorimetric assay was used to assess the viability of test cells. Significant decrease in viability of SH-SY5Y cells treated with 6-OHDA was observed. The addition of hemantane to cell medium produced cytoprotective effects in both regimes of administration--before and after 6-OHDA--at concentrations 10⁻⁷ M and 10⁻⁶-10⁻⁸ M, respectively. Amantadine in con- centrations 10⁻⁷-10⁻⁸ M was effective to increase cell survival only when administered after 6-OHDA. These results show that hemantane has a greater neu-roprotective potential in comparison to amantadine.

  6. Crystal structures of human pyridoxal kinase in complex with the neurotoxins, ginkgotoxin and theophylline: insights into pyridoxal kinase inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit K Gandhi

    Full Text Available Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase (hPL kinase, resulting in deficiency of the active cofactor form of vitamin B₆, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP. Pyridoxal (PL, an inactive form of vitamin B₆ is converted to PLP by PL kinase. PLP is the B₆ vitamer required as a cofactor for over 160 enzymatic activities essential in primary and secondary metabolism. We have performed structural and kinetic studies on hPL kinase with several potential inhibitors, including ginkgotoxin and theophylline. The structural studies show ginkgotoxin and theophylline bound at the substrate site, and are involved in similar protein interactions as the natural substrate, PL. Interestingly, the phosphorylated product of ginkgotoxin is also observed bound at the active site. This work provides insights into the molecular basis of hPL kinase inhibition and may provide a working hypothesis to quickly screen or identify neurotoxic drugs as potential hPL kinase inhibitors. Such adverse effects may be prevented by administration of an appropriate form of vitamin B₆, or provide clues of how to modify these drugs to help reduce their hPL kinase inhibitory effects.

  7. Crystal Structures of Human Pyridoxal Kinase in Complex with the Neurotoxins, Ginkgotoxin and Theophylline: Insights into Pyridoxal Kinase Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghatge, Mohini S.; di Salvo, Martino L.; Di Biase, Stefano; Danso-Danquah, Richmond; Musayev, Faik N.; Contestabile, Roberto; Schirch, Verne; Safo, Martin K.

    2012-01-01

    Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase (hPL kinase), resulting in deficiency of the active cofactor form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP). Pyridoxal (PL), an inactive form of vitamin B6 is converted to PLP by PL kinase. PLP is the B6 vitamer required as a cofactor for over 160 enzymatic activities essential in primary and secondary metabolism. We have performed structural and kinetic studies on hPL kinase with several potential inhibitors, including ginkgotoxin and theophylline. The structural studies show ginkgotoxin and theophylline bound at the substrate site, and are involved in similar protein interactions as the natural substrate, PL. Interestingly, the phosphorylated product of ginkgotoxin is also observed bound at the active site. This work provides insights into the molecular basis of hPL kinase inhibition and may provide a working hypothesis to quickly screen or identify neurotoxic drugs as potential hPL kinase inhibitors. Such adverse effects may be prevented by administration of an appropriate form of vitamin B6, or provide clues of how to modify these drugs to help reduce their hPL kinase inhibitory effects. PMID:22879864

  8. Pattern-recognition receptors in human eosinophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvarnhammar, Anne Månsson; Cardell, Lars Olaf

    2012-05-01

    The pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) family includes Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) -like receptors (NLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). They recognize various microbial signatures or host-derived danger signals and trigger an immune response. Eosinophils are multifunctional leucocytes involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory processes, including parasitic helminth infection, allergic diseases, tissue injury and tumour immunity. Human eosinophils express several PRRs, including TLR1-5, TLR7, TLR9, NOD1, NOD2, Dectin-1 and RAGE. Receptor stimulation induces survival, oxidative burst, activation of the adhesion system and release of cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor), chemokines (interleukin-8 and growth-related oncogene-α) and cytotoxic granule proteins (eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, eosinophil peroxidase and major basic protein). It is also evident that eosinophils play an immunomodulatory role by interacting with surrounding cells. The presence of a broad range of PRRs in eosinophils indicates that they are not only involved in defence against parasitic helminths, but also against bacteria, viruses and fungi. From a clinical perspective, eosinophilic PRRs seem to be involved in both allergic and malignant diseases by causing exacerbations and affecting tumour growth, respectively. © 2012 The Authors. Immunology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review

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    Da-Zhi Wang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them are effective at far lower dosages than conventional chemical agents. Consumption of seafood contaminated by algal toxins results in various seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP, amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP, diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP, ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP and azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (ASP. Most of these poisonings are caused by neurotoxins which present themselves with highly specific effects on the nervous system of animals, including humans, by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Neurotoxins are a varied group of compounds, both chemically and pharmacologically. They vary in both chemical structure and mechanism of action, and produce very distinct biological effects, which provides a potential application of these toxins in pharmacology and toxicology. This review summarizes the origin, structure and clinical symptoms of PSP, NSP, CFP, AZP, yessotoxin and palytoxin produced by marine dinoflagellates, as well as their molecular mechanisms of action on voltage-gated ion channels.

  10. Conjugative botulinum neurotoxin-encoding plasmids in Clostridium botulinum.

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    Kristin M Marshall

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Clostridium botulinum produces seven distinct serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs. The genes encoding different subtype neurotoxins of serotypes A, B, F and several dual neurotoxin-producing strains have been shown to reside on plasmids, suggesting that intra- and interspecies transfer of BoNT-encoding plasmids may occur. The objective of the present study was to determine whether these C. botulinum BoNT-encoding plasmids are conjugative. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: C. botulinum BoNT-encoding plasmids pBotCDC-A3 (strain CDC-A3, pCLJ (strain 657Ba and pCLL (strain Eklund 17B were tagged with the erythromycin resistance marker (Erm using the ClosTron mutagenesis system by inserting a group II intron into the neurotoxin genes carried on these plasmids. Transfer of the tagged plasmids from the donor strains CDC-A3, 657Ba and Eklund 17B to tetracycline-resistant recipient C. botulinum strains was evaluated in mating experiments. Erythromycin and tetracycline resistant transconjugants were isolated from donor:recipient mating pairs tested. Transfer of the plasmids to the transconjugants was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE and Southern hybridizations. Transfer required cell-to-cell contact and was DNase resistant. This indicates that transfer of these plasmids occurs via a conjugation mechanism. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first evidence supporting conjugal transfer of native botulinum neurotoxin-encoding plasmids in C. botulinum, and provides a probable mechanism for the lateral distribution of BoNT-encoding plasmids to other C. botulinum strains. The potential transfer of C. botulinum BoNT-encoding plasmids to other bacterial hosts in the environment or within the human intestine is of great concern for human pathogenicity and necessitates further characterization of these plasmids.

  11. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatla, Kamalakar; Gaunt, Patricia S.; Petrie-Hanson, Lora; Ford, Lorelei; Hanson, Larry A.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight) at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg)/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins. PMID:27153088

  12. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

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    Kamalakar Chatla

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins.

  13. What is the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2014-06-01

    Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al(3+) (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans. Aluminium is present in the human brain and it accumulates with age. The most recent research demonstrates that a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain. What are the symptoms of chronic aluminium intoxication in humans? What if neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are the manifestation of the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? How might such an (outrageous) hypothesis be tested?

  14. Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins: mechanism of action and therapeutic uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellizzari, R; Rossetto, O; Schiavo, G; Montecucco, C

    1999-02-28

    The clostridial neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism are proteins consisting of three domains endowed with different functions: neurospecific binding, membrane translocation and proteolysis for specific components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) binds to the presynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction, is internalized and transported retroaxonally to the spinal cord. The spastic paralysis induced by the toxin is due to the blockade of neurotransmitter release from spinal inhibitory interneurons. In contrast, the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) act at the periphery by inducing a flaccid paralysis due to the inhibition of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. TeNT and BoNT serotypes B, D, F and G cleave specifically at single but different peptide bonds, of the vesicle associated membrane protein (VAMP) synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of small synaptic vesicles (SSVs). BoNT types A, C and E cleave SNAP-25 at different sites located within the carboxyl-terminus, while BoNT type C additionally cleaves syntaxin. The remarkable specificity of BoNTs is exploited in the treatment of human diseases characterized by a hyperfunction of cholinergic terminals.

  15. Molecular Analysis of Neurotoxin-Induced Apoptosis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    D'Mello, Santosh R

    2006-01-01

    Apoptosis is a cell-suicide process that is required for the normal development of the nervous system, but that can be aberrantly activated in neurodegenerative diseases and following exposure to neurotoxins...

  16. An update on the mechanism of action of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Bolognese, Paolo; Rigoni, Michela; Montecucco, Cesare

    2011-12-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium, are the most toxic proteins known and are the sole responsible for the pathogenesis of tetanus and botulism. They enter peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals and cleave proteins of the neuroexocytosis apparatus causing a persistent, but reversible, inhibition of neurotransmitter release. Botulinum neurotoxins are used in the therapy of many human syndromes caused by hyperactive cholinergic nerve terminals. Here we focus on the many advances that were recently made on the understanding of their molecular mechanism of action and on their use in human therapy.

  17. An Ultrasensitive Gold Nanoparticle-based Lateral Flow Test for the Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Jing; Gao, Shan; Kang, Lin; Ji, Bin; Xin, Wenwen; Kang, Jingjing; Li, Ping; Jie GAO; Wang, Hanbin; Wang, Jinglin; Yang, Hao

    2017-01-01

    Botulism is a severe and potentially lethal paralytic disease caused by several botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridia spp. In China, the majority of the cases caused by botulism were from less-developed rural areas. Here, we designed specific substrate peptides and reconfigured gold nanoparticle-based lateral flow test strip (LFTS) to develop an endopeptidase-based lateral flow assay for the diagnosis of botulism. We performed this lateral flow assay on botulinum neurotoxin-spiked human s...

  18. Neurologic uses of botulinum neurotoxin type A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Ney

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available John P Ney, Kevin R JosephMadigan Army Medical Center, Neurology Service, Tacoma, WA, USAAbstract: This article reviews the current and most neurologic uses of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A, beginning with relevant historical data, neurochemical mechanism at the neuromuscular junction. Current commercial preparations of BoNT-A are reviewed, as are immunologic issues relating to secondary failure of BoNT-A therapy. Clinical uses are summarized with an emphasis on controlled clinical trials (as appropriate, including facial movement disorders, focal neck and limb dystonias, spasticity, hypersecretory syndromes, and pain.Keywords: botulinum neurotoxins, BOTOX®, Dysport®, chemodenervation

  19. Trans generational effects of the neurotoxin BMAA on the aquatic grazer Daphnia magna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.; Garcia-Altares, M.; Mendes e Mello, M.; Lurling, M.F.L.L.W.

    2015-01-01

    ß-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin that is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA has been detected in phytoplankton and globally, the main exposure routes for humans to BMAA are through

  20. Trans generational effects of the neurotoxin BMAA on the aquatic grazer Daphnia magna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, Elisabeth J.; García-Altares, María; Mendes e Mello, Mariana; Lürling, Miquel

    2015-01-01

    Abstract β-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin that is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA has been detected in phytoplankton and globally, the main exposure routes for humans to BMAA are

  1. Molecular Structures and Functional Relationships in Clostridial Neurotoxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swaminathan S.

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here.

  2. Fetal exposure to environmental neurotoxins in Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuen-Bin Jiang

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg, lead (Pb, cadmium (Cd, and arsenic (As are recognized neurotoxins in children that particularly affect neurodevelopment and intellectual performance. Based on the hypothesis that the fetal basis of adult disease is fetal toxic exposure that results in adverse outcomes in adulthood, we explored the concentrations of key neurotoxins (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd, and As in meconium to identify the risk factors associated with these concentrations. From January 2007 to December 2009, 545 mother-infant pairs were recruited. The geometric mean concentrations of Pb and As in the meconium of babies of foreign-born mothers (22.9 and 38.1 µg/kg dry weight, respectively were significantly greater than those of babies of Taiwan-born mothers (17.5 and 33.0 µg/kg dry weight, respectively. Maternal age (≥30 y, maternal education, use of traditional Chinese herbs during pregnancy, and fish cutlet consumption (≥3 meals/wk were risk factors associated with concentrations of key prenatal neurotoxins. The Taiwan government should focus more attention on providing intervention programs for immigrant mothers to help protect the health of unborn babies. Further investigation on how multiple neurotoxins influence prenatal neurodevelopment is warranted.

  3. Recombinant rabies virus particles presenting botulinum neurotoxin antigens elicit a protective humoral response in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W Hudacek

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most potent toxins found in nature, with broad medical applications from cosmetics to the treatment of various neuropathies. Additionally, these toxins are classified as Category A-Tier 1 agents, with human lethal doses calculated at as little as 90 ng depending upon the route of administration. Of the eight distinct botulinum neurotoxin serotypes, the most common causes of human illness are from serotypes /A, /B, and /E. Protection can be achieved by eliciting antibody responses against the receptor-binding domain of the neurotoxin. Our previous research has shown that recombinant rabies virus–based particles can effectively present heterologous antigens. Here, we describe a novel strategy using recombinant rabies virus particles that elicits a durable humoral immune response against the botulinum neurotoxin receptor binding domains from serotypes /A, /B, and /E. Following intramuscular administration of β-propiolactone-inactivated rabies virus particles, mice elicited specific immune responses against the cognate antigen. Administration of a combination of these vectors also demonstrated antibody responses against all three serotypes based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA measurements, with minimal decay within the study timeline. Complete protection was achieved against toxin challenge from the serotypes /A and /B and partial protection for /E, indicating that a multivalent approach is feasible.

  4. The Regions on the Light Chain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A Recognized by T Cells from Toxin-Treated Cervical Dystonia Patients. The Complete Human T-Cell Recognition Map of the Toxin Molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Minako; Deitiker, Philip; Jankovic, Joseph; Atassi, M Zouhair

    2018-01-01

    We have recently mapped the in vitro proliferative responses of T cells from botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A)-treated cervical dystonia (CD) patients with overlapping peptides encompassing BoNT/A heavy chain (residues 449-1296). In the present study, we determined the recognition profiles, by peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from the same set of patients, of BoNT/A light (L) chain (residues 1-453) by using 32 synthetic overlapping peptides that encompassed the entire L chain. Profiles of the T-cell responses (expressed in stimulation index, SI; Z score based on transformed SI) to the peptides varied among the patients. Samples from 14 patients treated solely with BoNT/A recognized 3-13 (average 7.2) peptides/sample at Z > 3.0 level. Two peptide regions representing residues 113-131 and 225-243 were recognized by around 40% of these patients. Regarding treatment parameters, treatment history with current BOTOX ® only group produced significantly lower average T-cell responses to the 32 L-chain peptides compared to treatments with mix of type A including original and current BOTOX ® . Influence of other treatment parameters on T-cell recognition of the L-chain peptides was also observed. Results of the submolecular T-cell recognition of the L chain are compared to those of the H chain and the T-cell recognition profile of the entire BoNT/A molecule is discussed. Abbreviations used: BoNT/A, botulinum neurotoxin type A; BoNT/A i , inactivated BoNT/A; BoNT/B, botulinum neurotoxin type B; CD, cervical dystonia; L chain, the light chain (residues 1-448) of BoNT/A; LNC, lymph node cells; H chain, the heavy chain (residues 449-1296) of BoNT/A; H C , C-terminal domain (residues 855-1296) of H chain; H N , N-terminal domain (residues 449-859) of H chain; MPA, mouse protection assay; SI, stimulation index (SI = cpm of 3 H-thymidine incorporated by antigen-stimulated T cells/cpm incorporated by unstimulated cells); TeNT, tetanus neurotoxin; TeNT i , inactivated TeNT.

  5. Medical Countermeasure Models. Volume 8. Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-12

    of Internal Medicine . 129(221-228). 1998. Medical Countermeasure Models Volume 8: Botulinum Neurotoxin Gryphon Scientific, LLC 6 Figure...Sauteed Onions . Clinical and Epidemiological Observations.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 253(9). 1985. 23 Arnon SS et al. “Botulinum...Factors that Predict Outcome in Type A Foodborne Botulism.” The American Journal of Medicine . 76. 1984. 25 CDC. “Notice of CDC’s Discontinuation of

  6. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Domains

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen eToth; Ernst E Brueggemann; Oyler, George A.; Smith, Leonard A.; Hines, Harry B.; S. Ashraf eAhmed

    2012-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are most potent of all toxins. Their N-terminal light chain domain (Lc) translocates into peripheral cholinergic neurons to exert its endoproteolytic action leading to muscle paralysis. Therapeutic development against these toxins is a major challenge due to their in vitro and in vivo structural differences. Although three-dimensional structures and reaction mechanisms are very similar, the seven serotypes designated A through G vastly vary in their intracellular catalyt...

  7. Unique Ganglioside Recognition Strategies for Clostridial Neurotoxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, Marc A.; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Baldwin, Michael R. (MCW); (UMC)

    2012-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin are the causative agents of the paralytic diseases botulism and tetanus, respectively. The potency of the clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) relies primarily on their highly specific binding to nerve terminals and cleavage of SNARE proteins. Although individual CNTs utilize distinct proteins for entry, they share common ganglioside co-receptors. Here, we report the crystal structure of the BoNT/F receptor-binding domain in complex with the sugar moiety of ganglioside GD1a. GD1a binds in a shallow groove formed by the conserved peptide motif E ... H ... SXWY ... G, with additional stabilizing interactions provided by two arginine residues. Comparative analysis of BoNT/F with other CNTs revealed several differences in the interactions of each toxin with ganglioside. Notably, exchange of BoNT/F His-1241 with the corresponding lysine residue of BoNT/E resulted in increased affinity for GD1a and conferred the ability to bind ganglioside GM1a. Conversely, BoNT/E was not able to bind GM1a, demonstrating a discrete mechanism of ganglioside recognition. These findings provide a structural basis for ganglioside binding among the CNTs and show that individual toxins utilize unique ganglioside recognition strategies.

  8. Therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Alshadwi

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: Botulinum neurotoxin therapy provides viable alternatives to traditional treatment modalities for some conditions affecting the head and neck region that have neurological components. This therapy can overcome some of the morbidities associated with conventional therapy. More research is needed to determine the ideal doses of botulinum neurotoxin to treat different diseases affecting the head and neck regions.

  9. Thioredoxin and Its Reductase Are Present on Synaptic Vesicles, and Their Inhibition Prevents the Paralysis Induced by Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Pirazzini

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins consist of a metalloprotease linked via a conserved interchain disulfide bond to a heavy chain responsible for neurospecific binding and translocation of the enzymatic domain in the nerve terminal cytosol. The metalloprotease activity is enabled upon disulfide reduction and causes neuroparalysis by cleaving the SNARE proteins. Here, we show that the thioredoxin reductase-thioredoxin protein disulfide-reducing system is present on synaptic vesicles and that it is functional and responsible for the reduction of the interchain disulfide of botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A, C, and E. Specific inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase or thioredoxin prevent intoxication of cultured neurons in a dose-dependent manner and are also very effective inhibitors of the paralysis of the neuromuscular junction. We found that this group of inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins is very effective in vivo. Most of them are nontoxic and are good candidates as preventive and therapeutic drugs for human botulism.

  10. The binding of botulinum neurotoxins to different peripheral neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetto, O

    2017-10-16

    Botulinum neurotoxins are the most potent toxins known. The double receptor binding modality represents one of the most significant properties of botulinum neurotoxins and largely accounts for their incredible potency and lethality. Despite the high affinity and the very specific binding, botulinum neurotoxins are versatile and multi-tasking toxins. Indeed they are able to act both at the somatic and at the autonomic nervous system. In spite of the preference for cholinergic nerve terminals botulinum neurotoxins have been shown to inhibit to some extent also the noradrenergic postganglionic sympathetic nerve terminals and the afferent nerve terminals of the sensory neurons inhibiting the release of neuropeptides and glutamate, which are responsible of nociception. Therefore, there is increasing evidence that the therapeutic effect in both motor and autonomic disorders is based on a complex mode of botulinum neurotoxin action modulating the activity of efferent as well as afferent nerve fibres. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Botulinum neurotoxins: genetic, structural and mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2014-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and cause a persistent paralysis of peripheral nerve terminals, which is known as botulism. Neurotoxigenic clostridia belong to six phylogenetically distinct groups and produce more than 40 different BoNT types, which inactivate neurotransmitter release owing to their metalloprotease activity. In this Review, we discuss recent studies that have improved our understanding of the genetics and structure of BoNT complexes. We also describe recent insights into the mechanisms of BoNT entry into the general circulation, neuronal binding, membrane translocation and neuroparalysis.

  12. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin Producing Clostridial Strains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svennson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2006-07-06

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore forming rod-shaped bacteria which have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and even death in humans and various other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains were examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A-G). Analysis of the16S rRNA sequences confirmed earlier reports of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (Groups I-IV) each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT serotypes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution, and can be used to further subdivide the four groups into sub-groups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from serotypes A, B and E in multiple strains confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes, and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven serotypes of BoNT were compared and show varying degrees of interrelatedness and recombination as has been previously noted for the NTNH gene which is linked to BoNT. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for treatment of botulism.

  13. Differentiating Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridia with a Simple, Multiplex PCR Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Charles H D; Vazquez, Adam J; Hill, Karen; Smith, Theresa J; Nottingham, Roxanne; Stone, Nathan E; Sobek, Colin J; Cocking, Jill H; Fernández, Rafael A; Caballero, Patricia A; Leiser, Owen P; Keim, Paul; Sahl, Jason W

    2017-09-15

    Diverse members of the genus Clostridium produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which cause a flaccid paralysis known as botulism. While multiple species of clostridia produce BoNTs, the majority of human botulism cases have been attributed to Clostridium botulinum groups I and II. Recent comparative genomic studies have demonstrated the genomic diversity within these BoNT-producing species. This report introduces a multiplex PCR assay for differentiating members of C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Coding region sequences unique to each of the four species/subgroups were identified by in silico analyses of thousands of genome assemblies, and PCR primers were designed to amplify each marker. The resulting multiplex PCR assay correctly assigned 41 tested isolates to the appropriate species or subgroup. A separate PCR assay to determine the presence of the ntnh gene (a gene associated with the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster) was developed and validated. The ntnh gene PCR assay provides information about the presence or absence of the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster and the type of gene cluster present ( ha positive [ ha + ] or orfX + ). The increased availability of whole-genome sequence data and comparative genomic tools enabled the design of these assays, which provide valuable information for characterizing BoNT-producing clostridia. The PCR assays are rapid, inexpensive tests that can be applied to a variety of sample types to assign isolates to species/subgroups and to detect clostridia with botulinum neurotoxin gene ( bont ) clusters. IMPORTANCE Diverse clostridia produce the botulinum neurotoxin, one of the most potent known neurotoxins. In this study, a multiplex PCR assay was developed to differentiate clostridia that are most commonly isolated in connection with human botulism cases: C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Since Bo

  14. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Lago

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of “fugu” is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains.

  15. On the translocation of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins across the membrane of acidic intracellular compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Leka, Oneda; Zanetti, Giulia; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2016-03-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and are the most poisonous toxins known, with 50% mouse lethal dose comprised within the range of 0.1-few nanograms per Kg, depending on the individual toxin. Botulinum neurotoxins are similarly toxic to humans and can therefore be considered for potential use in bioterrorism. At the same time, their neurospecificity and reversibility of action make them excellent therapeutics for a growing and heterogeneous number of human diseases that are characterized by a hyperactivity of peripheral nerve terminals. The complete crystallographic structure is available for some botulinum toxins, and reveals that they consist of four domains functionally related to the four steps of their mechanism of neuron intoxication: 1) binding to specific receptors of the presynaptic membrane; 2) internalization via endocytic vesicles; 3) translocation across the membrane of endocytic vesicles into the neuronal cytosol; 4) catalytic activity of the enzymatic moiety directed towards the SNARE proteins. Despite the many advances in understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, the molecular events involved in the translocation step have been only partially elucidated. Here we will review recent advances that have provided relevant insights on the process and discuss possible models that can be experimentally tested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Ultrasound Guidance for Botulinum Neurotoxin Chemodenervation Procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alter, Katharine E; Karp, Barbara I

    2017-12-28

    Injections of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are prescribed by clinicians for a variety of disorders that cause over-activity of muscles; glands; pain and other structures. Accurately targeting the structure for injection is one of the principle goals when performing BoNTs procedures. Traditionally; injections have been guided by anatomic landmarks; palpation; range of motion; electromyography or electrical stimulation. Ultrasound (US) based imaging based guidance overcomes some of the limitations of traditional techniques. US and/or US combined with traditional guidance techniques is utilized and or recommended by many expert clinicians; authors and in practice guidelines by professional academies. This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of available guidance techniques including US as well as technical aspects of US guidance and a focused literature review related to US guidance for chemodenervation procedures including BoNTs injection.

  17. Ultrasound Guidance for Botulinum Neurotoxin Chemodenervation Procedures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine E. Alter

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Injections of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are prescribed by clinicians for a variety of disorders that cause over-activity of muscles; glands; pain and other structures. Accurately targeting the structure for injection is one of the principle goals when performing BoNTs procedures. Traditionally; injections have been guided by anatomic landmarks; palpation; range of motion; electromyography or electrical stimulation. Ultrasound (US based imaging based guidance overcomes some of the limitations of traditional techniques. US and/or US combined with traditional guidance techniques is utilized and or recommended by many expert clinicians; authors and in practice guidelines by professional academies. This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of available guidance techniques including US as well as technical aspects of US guidance and a focused literature review related to US guidance for chemodenervation procedures including BoNTs injection.

  18. An Overview on the Marine Neurotoxin, Saxitoxin: Genetics, Molecular Targets, Methods of Detection and Ecological Functions

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    Gary S. Sayler

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs, are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin’s ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed.

  19. An overview on the marine neurotoxin, saxitoxin: genetics, molecular targets, methods of detection and ecological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusick, Kathleen D; Sayler, Gary S

    2013-03-27

    Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin's ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s) PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed.

  20. The botulinum neurotoxin LD50 test - problems and solutions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bitz, Silke

    2010-01-01

    ... on cosmetic testing in animals in the case of Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) testing. The European Pharmacopoeia monograph allows for the use of three alternative methods provided they are validated...

  1. Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins: mechanism of action and therapeutic uses.

    OpenAIRE

    Pellizzari, R; Rossetto, O.; G. Schiavo; Montecucco, C

    1999-01-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism are proteins consisting of three domains endowed with different functions: neurospecific binding, membrane translocation and proteolysis for specific components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) binds to the presynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction, is internalized and transported retroaxonally to the spinal cord. The spastic paralysis induced by the toxin is due to the blockade of neurotransm...

  2. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel M. Filippelli

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between environmental processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are poorly studied, yet may pose a significant threat to population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb, a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But the legacy of these sources remains in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg. The greatest human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for toxic Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Overall, there is a paradigmatic shift from reaction to and remediation of acute exposures towards a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic cycling of persistent environmental contaminants with resultant widespread and chronic exposure of inner-city dwellers, leading to chronic toxic illness and disability at substantial human and social cost.

  3. Geochemical Legacies and the Future Health of Cities: An Analysis of two Neurotoxins in Urban Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippelli, G. M.; Risch, M.

    2015-12-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between geochemical processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are very poorly studied, yet have materialized as perhaps the greatest threat to large-scale population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But these legacy Pb sources are still around in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a pernicious and widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg), although very little work has been done to understand human exposures to low levels of this element in soils. The most documented human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for above average dietary Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Many aspects of the dose-response curves for individual elements and mixtures are poorly understood, especially at lower levels, leaving unanswered several interesting and provocative questions about environmental impacts on neurological and

  4. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Ophthalmology

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    Emel Başar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT is the first biological toxin used in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases and to decrease skin wrinkles as an aesthetic agent. When used appropriately, it weakens the force of muscular contraction and/or inhibits glandular secretion. The most common areas for botulinum toxin treatment are the upper face, including the glabella, forehead, brows, and lateral canthal lines or crow’s feet. By relaxing the muscles causing wrinkles, non-permanent results may be achieved with its use. BoNT has gained widespread use in a variety of ophthalmic diseases. The effect of BoNT is temporary, but the therapeutic benefit is usually maintained even after repeated injections. Treatment is usually well tolerated. Complications and side effects associated with the treatment are rare and temporary. Complications occur due to weakness (chemodenervation of adjacent muscle groups, immunological mechanisms and injection technique. Current therapeutic indications, doses, complications and contraindications of BoNT use in the following disorders related to ophthalmology were investigated: aesthetic use, strabismus, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, eyelid retraction, entropion, lacrimal hypersecretion syndrome, and facial paralysis.

  5. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Ophthalmology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Başar, Emel; Arıcı, Ceyhun

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the first biological toxin used in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases and to decrease skin wrinkles as an aesthetic agent. When used appropriately, it weakens the force of muscular contraction and/or inhibits glandular secretion. The most common areas for botulinum toxin treatment are the upper face, including the glabella, forehead, brows, and lateral canthal lines, or crow’s feet. By relaxing the muscles causing wrinkles, non-permanent results may be achieved with its use. BoNT has gained widespread use in a variety of ophthalmic diseases. The effect of BoNT is temporary, but the therapeutic benefit is usually maintained even after repeated injections. Treatment is usually well tolerated. Complications and side effects associated with the treatment are rare and temporary. Complications occur due to weakness (chemodenervation) of adjacent muscle groups, immunological mechanisms and injection technique. Current therapeutic indications, doses, complications and contraindications of BoNT use in the following disorders related to ophthalmology were investigated: aesthetic use, strabismus, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, eyelid retraction, entropion, lacrimal hypersecretion syndrome, and facial paralysis. PMID:28050326

  6. Botulinum neurotoxin: a marvel of protein design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montal, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of botulism, is acknowledged to be the most poisonous protein known. BoNT proteases disable synaptic vesicle exocytosis by cleaving their cytosolic SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) substrates. BoNT is a modular nanomachine: an N-terminal Zn(2+)-metalloprotease, which cleaves the SNAREs; a central helical protein-conducting channel, which chaperones the protease across endosomes; and a C-terminal receptor-binding module, consisting of two subdomains that determine target specificity by binding to a ganglioside and a protein receptor on the cell surface and triggering endocytosis. For BoNT, functional complexity emerges from its modular design and the tight interplay between its component modules--a partnership with consequences that surpass the simple sum of the individual component's action. BoNTs exploit this design at each step of the intoxication process, thereby achieving an exquisite toxicity. This review summarizes current knowledge on the structure of individual modules and presents mechanistic insights into how this protein machine evolved to this level of sophistication. Understanding the design principles underpinning the function of such a dynamic modular protein remains a challenging task.

  7. Clinical utility of different botulinum neurotoxin preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Steven B; Hallett, Mark

    2013-06-01

    Comparative literature assessing the relative safety and efficacy of different BoNT products is limited. The quantity and quality of data vary by preparation and indication. Clinicians seeking data relevant to the care of patients with specific conditions may find only reports about small numbers of patients with varying symptoms. While a literature search for "botulinum neurotoxins" will yield a large number of publications; only a fraction of these meet criteria for an academic evidence-based review. Patients may have been treated with a different BoNT formulation than that with which the physician is familiar, or there may be little or no clinical data on the use of a specific BoNT product for the proposed intervention. This paper is an introduction to a series of papers (which follow) in which an expert panel reviewed the BoNT clinical trial literature in order to provide evidence-based recommendations regarding the clinical use and efficacy of available BoNT preparations for four major therapeutic areas: movement disorders, spasticity, urology, and secretory disorders. Expert opinion is also included to address practical issues where more evidence and further research is needed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Quinolinic Acid: Neurotoxin or Oxidative Stress Modulator?

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    Lenka Kubicova

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Quinolinic acid (2,3-pyridinedicarboxylic acid, QUIN is a well-known neurotoxin. Consequently, QUIN could produce reactive oxygen species (ROS. ROS are generated in reactions catalyzed by transition metals, especially iron (Fe. QUIN can form coordination complexes with iron. A combination of differential pulse voltammetry, deoxyribose degradation and Fe(II autoxidation assays was used for explorating ROS formation in redox reactions that are catalyzed by iron in QUIN-Fe complexes. Differential pulse voltammetry showed an anodic shift of the iron redox potential if iron was liganded by QUIN. In the H2O2/FeCl3/ascorbic acid variant of the deoxyribose degradation assay, the dose-response curve was U-shaped. In the FeCl3/ascorbic acid variant, QUIN unambiguously showed antioxidant effects. In the Fe(II autoxidation assay, QUIN decreased the rate of ROS production caused by Fe(II oxidation. Our study confirms that QUIN toxicity may be caused by ROS generation via the Fenton reaction. This, however, applies only for unnaturally high concentrations that were used in attempts to provide support for the neurotoxic effect. In lower concentrations, we show that by liganding iron, QUIN affects the Fe(II/Fe(III ratios that are beneficial to homeostasis. Our results support the notion that redox chemistry can contribute to explaining the hormetic dose-response effects.

  9. Botulinum Neurotoxins: Biology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella; Eleopra, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    The study of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) is rapidly progressing in many aspects. Novel BoNTs are being discovered owing to next generation sequencing, but their biologic and pharmacological properties remain largely unknown. The molecular structure of the large protein complexes that the toxin forms with accessory proteins, which are included in some BoNT type A1 and B1 pharmacological preparations, have been determined. By far the largest effort has been dedicated to the testing and validation of BoNTs as therapeutic agents in an ever increasing number of applications, including pain therapy. BoNT type A1 has been also exploited in a variety of cosmetic treatments, alone or in combination with other agents, and this specific market has reached the size of the one dedicated to the treatment of medical syndromes. The pharmacological properties and mode of action of BoNTs have shed light on general principles of neuronal transport and protein-protein interactions and are stimulating basic science studies. Moreover, the wide array of BoNTs discovered and to be discovered and the production of recombinant BoNTs endowed with specific properties suggest novel uses in therapeutics with increasing disease/symptom specifity. These recent developments are reviewed here to provide an updated picture of the biologic mechanism of action of BoNTs, of their increasing use in pharmacology and in cosmetics, and of their toxicology. PMID:28356439

  10. Mechanism of action of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montecucco, C; Schiavo, G

    1994-07-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism are metallo-proteases that enter nerve cells and block neurotransmitter release via zinc-dependent cleavage of protein components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) binds to the presynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction and is internalized and transported retroaxonally to the spinal cord. Whilst TeNT causes spastic paralysis by acting on the spinal inhibitory interneurons, the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) induce a flaccid paralysis because they intoxicate the neuromuscular junction. TeNT and BoNT serotypes B, D, F and G specifically cleave VAMP/synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of small synaptic vesicles, at different single peptide bonds. Proteins of the presynaptic membrane are specifically attacked by the other BoNTs: serotypes A and E cleave SNAP-25 at two different sites located within the carboxyl terminus, whereas the specific target of serotype C is syntaxin.

  11. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

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    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  12. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Domains

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    Stephen eToth

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are most potent of all toxins. Their N-terminal light chain domain (Lc translocates into peripheral cholinergic neurons to exert its endoproteolytic action leading to muscle paralysis. Therapeutic development against these toxins is a major challenge due to their in vitro and in vivo structural differences. Although three-dimensional structures and reaction mechanisms are very similar, the seven serotypes designated A through G vastly vary in their intracellular catalytic stability. To investigate if protein phosphorylation could account for this difference, we employed Src-catalyzed tyrosine phosphorylation of the Lc of six serotypes namely LcA, LcB, LcC1, LcD, LcE, and LcG. Very little phosphorylation was observed with LcD and LcE but LcA, LcB and LcG were maximally phosphorylated by Src. Phosphorylation of LcA, LcB, and LcG did not affect their secondary and tertiary structures and thermostability significantly. Phosphorylation of Y250 and Y251 made LcA resistant to autocatalysis and drastically reduced its kcat/Km for catalysis. A tyrosine residue present near the essential cysteine at the C-terminal tail of LcA, LcB and LcG was readily phosphorylated in vitro. Inclusion of a competitive inhibitor protected this Y426 of LcA from phosphorylation, shedding light on the role of the C-terminus in the enzyme’s substrate or product binding.

  13. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A specific cell-based potency assay to replace the mouse bioassay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ester Fernández-Salas

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A, a potent therapeutic used to treat various disorders, inhibits vesicular neurotransmitter exocytosis by cleaving SNAP25. Development of cell-based potency assays (CBPAs to assess the biological function of BoNT/A have been challenging because of its potency. CBPAs can evaluate the key steps of BoNT action: receptor binding, internalization-translocation, and catalytic activity; and therefore could replace the current mouse bioassay. Primary neurons possess appropriate sensitivity to develop potential replacement assays but those potency assays are difficult to perform and validate. This report describes a CBPA utilizing differentiated human neuroblastoma SiMa cells and a sandwich ELISA that measures BoNT/A-dependent intracellular increase of cleaved SNAP25. Assay sensitivity is similar to the mouse bioassay and measures neurotoxin biological activity in bulk drug substance and BOTOX® product (onabotulinumtoxinA. Validation of a version of this CBPA in a Quality Control laboratory has led to FDA, Health Canada, and European Union approval for potency testing of BOTOX®, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and Vistabel®. Moreover, we also developed and optimized a BoNT/A CBPA screening assay that can be used for the discovery of novel BoNT/A inhibitors to treat human disease.

  14. BotDB: A database resource for the clostridial neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeda, Frank J

    2004-03-01

    BotDB is a database designed to encapsulate the rapidly expanding amount of information about the structure and function of the botulinum (BoNT) and tetanus neurotoxins and to track a variety of basic and applied research efforts. The AceDB management system was chosen for this project because of its flexibility in manipulating semistructured data sets and for its information retrieval query languages. In addition to storing amino and nucleic acid sequences of the clostridial neurotoxin genes and proteins, BotDB provides sequence data for new classes of objects, including neurotoxin mutants, substrates and their mutants, associated nontoxic proteins, and C-fragment vaccine candidates. New data types provide information on detection assays for the neurotoxins and on structural data from X-ray crystallographic and circular dichroism spectroscopic studies. Kinetic parameters from biochemical experiments include reaction rates for substrate cleavage and block of neurotransmission. The structures and kinetic characteristics of presently known chemical inhibitors are also being archived. All of these data are associated with citations of the relevant literature for on-line annotation. Graphics viewer programs are provided to display stored images and three-dimensional representations of protein structures. BotDB is in the alpha test phase of development and will become a publicly available Web site.

  15. Prediction of antigenic epitopes and MHC binders of neurotoxin ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Peptide fragments of the neurotoxin can be used to select nonamers for use in rational vaccine design and to increase the understanding of roles of the ... We also found the SVM based MHCII-IAb peptide regions, 26- GKCMNGKCH, 20- ...

  16. Prediction of antigenic epitopes and MHC binders of neurotoxin ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PRECIOUS

    2009-12-01

    Dec 1, 2009 ... elucidated via combination of Edman degradation and ... disulfide bridges. The non-cysteinic, basic and thermo- labile Bs10 is composed of 34 amino acid residues (3.7. kDa), and belongs to a new class of peptides, with no sequence ..... cause C- terminal regions of neurotoxin protein is solvent accessible ...

  17. An Ultrasensitive Gold Nanoparticle-based Lateral Flow Test for the Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing; Gao, Shan; Kang, Lin; Ji, Bin; Xin, Wenwen; Kang, Jingjing; Li, Ping; Gao, Jie; Wang, Hanbin; Wang, Jinglin; Yang, Hao

    2017-12-01

    Botulism is a severe and potentially lethal paralytic disease caused by several botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridia spp. In China, the majority of the cases caused by botulism were from less-developed rural areas. Here, we designed specific substrate peptides and reconfigured gold nanoparticle-based lateral flow test strip (LFTS) to develop an endopeptidase-based lateral flow assay for the diagnosis of botulism. We performed this lateral flow assay on botulinum neurotoxin-spiked human serum samples. The as-prepared LFTS had excellent performance in the detection of botulinum neurotoxin using only 1 μL of simulated serum, and its sensitivity and specificity were comparable to that of mouse lethality assay. Moreover, the assay takes only half a day and does not require highly trained laboratory staff, specialized facility, or equipment. Finally, our LFTS can be potentially extended to other serotypes of BoNTs by designing specific substrate peptides against the different types of BoNTs. Overall, we demonstrate a strategy by which LFTS and endopeptidase activity assays can be integrated to achieve facile and economic diagnosis of botulism in resource-limited settings.

  18. An Ultrasensitive Gold Nanoparticle-based Lateral Flow Test for the Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing; Gao, Shan; Kang, Lin; Ji, Bin; Xin, Wenwen; Kang, Jingjing; Li, Ping; Gao, Jie; Wang, Hanbin; Wang, Jinglin; Yang, Hao

    2017-03-01

    Botulism is a severe and potentially lethal paralytic disease caused by several botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridia spp. In China, the majority of the cases caused by botulism were from less-developed rural areas. Here, we designed specific substrate peptides and reconfigured gold nanoparticle-based lateral flow test strip (LFTS) to develop an endopeptidase-based lateral flow assay for the diagnosis of botulism. We performed this lateral flow assay on botulinum neurotoxin-spiked human serum samples. The as-prepared LFTS had excellent performance in the detection of botulinum neurotoxin using only 1 μL of simulated serum, and its sensitivity and specificity were comparable to that of mouse lethality assay. Moreover, the assay takes only half a day and does not require highly trained laboratory staff, specialized facility, or equipment. Finally, our LFTS can be potentially extended to other serotypes of BoNTs by designing specific substrate peptides against the different types of BoNTs. Overall, we demonstrate a strategy by which LFTS and endopeptidase activity assays can be integrated to achieve facile and economic diagnosis of botulism in resource-limited settings.

  19. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aifeng Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB and N-2(aminoethylglycine (AEG in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g−1 wet weight were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68 with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g−1 wet weight. No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future.

  20. Actions of snake neurotoxins on an insect nicotinic cholinergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hue, Bernard; Buckingham, Steven D; Buckingham, David; Sattelle, David B

    2007-09-01

    Here we examine the actions of six snake neurotoxins (alpha-cobratoxin from Naja naja siamensis, erabutoxin-a and b from Laticauda semifasciata; CM12 from N. haje annulifera, toxin III 4 from Notechis scutatus and a long toxin from N. haje) on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the cercal afferent, giant interneuron 2 synapse of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana. All toxins tested reduced responses to directly-applied ACh as well as EPSPs evoked by electrical stimulation of nerve XI with similar time courses, suggesting that their action is postsynaptic. Thus, these nicotinic receptors in a well-characterized insect synapse are sensitive to both long and short chain neurotoxins. This considerably expands the range of snake toxins that block insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and may enable further pharmacological distinctions between nAChR subtypes.

  1. [The structure and mechanism of action of clostridial neurotoxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parasion, Sylwia; Bartoszcze, Michał; Gryko, Romuald

    2007-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani produce highly potent neurotoxins, called botulinum toxins and tetanus toxin, respectively. The clostridial neurotoxins specifically bind to neuronal cells and disrupt neurotransmisser release by cleaving proteins involved in specific vesicle membrane fusion. Each toxin is synthesized as an inactive approximately 150 kDa single-chain protein. The protein is posttranslationally proteolyzed to form the active dichain molecule in which the chains approximately 50 and approximately 100 kDa, remain linked by a disulfide bond. The structural organization is funcionally related to the fact that CNTs intoxicate neurons via four-step mechanism consisting of 1. binding, 2. internalization, 3. membrane translocation, and 4. enzymatic target modification. The L chain is responsible for the intracellular catalitic activity. The NH2-terminal 50-kDa domain of the H chain (HN) is implicated in membrane translocation, whereas the COOH-terminal part (HC) is mainly responsible for neurospecific binding.

  2. [Molecular mechanism of action of tetanus toxin and botulinum neurotoxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulain, B

    1994-02-01

    Tetanus toxin and botulinum neurotoxins are di-chain proteins of 150 kD molecular weight. They are produced by bacteria of the Clostridium genus. These toxins act on the nervous system by inhibiting neurotransmitter release (glycine and GABA in the case of tetanus toxin; acetylcholine in the case of botulinum neurotoxins) thus inducing the spastic or flaccid paralysis that characterizes tetanus and botulism, respectively. Their cellular mechanism of action involves three main steps, namely binding to the neurone membrane, internalization and intracellular blockade of the release mechanism for neurotransmitters. Membrane acceptors for these toxins are not yet fully identified; they would consist of membrane gangliosides and proteins. The internalization step would be achieved by endocytosis. Recent findings show that both binding and internalization are mediated only by the heavy chain of the toxins whereas the intracellular blockade of neurotransmitter release involves their light chain alone. The light chain has been identified as a zinc metalloprotease and its substrates would be proteins involved in the neurotransmitter release mechanism. The target of tetanus toxin and of botulinum neurotoxin type B is VAMP/synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of the synaptic vesicles of nerve cell terminals.

  3. Recovery of a strain of Clostridium botulinum producing both neurotoxin A and neurotoxin B from canned macrobiotic food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franciosa, G; Fenicia, L; Pourshaban, M; Aureli, P

    1997-03-01

    A rare strain of Clostridium botulinum subtype Ab was isolated from a canned macrobiotic food suspected of being linked to a fatal case of food-borne botulism. The strain was recovered and identified by conventional methods modified by the inclusion of a PCR assay (G. Franciosa, J.L. Ferreira, and C.L. Hatheway, J. Clin. Microbiol. 32:1911-1917, 1994). The titers of neurotoxins produced by the strain were evaluated by a mouse bioassay.

  4. A Core Facility for the Study of Neurotoxins of Biological Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-02-15

    similar toxins from other sources. He has used iodinated preparations of these toxins to extract and solubilize receptors, which appear to be...neurotoxin were isolated from cultures of Clostridium botulinum strain 62A and strain OKRA . The crude neurotoxin was isolated by a series of

  5. Coupling the Torpedo microplate-receptor binding assay with mass spectrometry to detect cyclic imine neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2012-12-04

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility.

  6. Probiotic microorganisms inhibit epithelial cell internalization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) complex (holotoxin with neurotoxin-associated proteins) bind and transit through the intestinal...

  7. Cloning and purification of alpha-neurotoxins from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ying-Ying; Lee, Wei-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2004-09-01

    Thirteen complete and three partial cDNA sequences were cloned from the constructed king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom gland cDNA library. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of king cobra with those from other snake venoms revealed that obtained cDNAs are highly homologous to snake venom alpha-neurotoxins. Alignment of deduced mature peptide sequences of the obtained clones with those of other reported alpha-neurotoxins from the king cobra venom indicates that our obtained 16 clones belong to long-chain neurotoxins (seven), short-chain neurotoxins (seven), weak toxin (one) and variant (one), respectively. Up to now, two out of 16 newly cloned king cobra alpha-neurotoxins have identical amino acid sequences with CM-11 and Oh-6A/6B, which have been characterized from the same venom. Furthermore, five long-chain alpha-neurotoxins and two short-chain alpha-neurotoxins were purified from crude venom and their N-terminal amino acid sequences were determined. The cDNAs encoding the putative precursors of the purified native peptide were also determined based on the N-terminal amino acid sequencing. The purified alpha-neurotoxins showed different lethal activities on mice.

  8. Investigation on neurotoxin of sea snail meat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Mohan

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To explore the neurotoxic agent tetramine and characterized with cytotoxicity studies from the chief constituents of sea food Trochus radiatus (T. radiatus and Thais rudolphi (T. rudolphi for coastal people of India. Methods: Extraction was performed by following the method of Hashizume et al. (1987 with apposite modification. The extracted aqueous layer was chromatographed on a column of diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex and Sephadex LH-20. To analysis the toxic compound of T. radiatus and T. rudolphi has been done by high performance thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometer, and the spectral data was examined by Fourier transform infrared spectrum spectroscopy. The cytotoxicity studies of the purified samples were assessed by hemolytic assay, brine shrimp assay and 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide – cell proliferation assay. Results: The tetramine content was estimated as 0.4 µg/g and 1.2µg/g respectively (w/w. The maximum haemolytic activity in T. rudolphi was found to be 256 haemolytic unit and 16 haemolytic unit in T. radiatus against human erythrocytes when compared to chicken erythrocytes. The samples exhibited lethality against brine shrimps at 60 and 7 µg/100 mL, respectively. The tetramine from T. rudolphi and T. radiatus showed 54.2% and 70.8% of cytotoxicity against human lymphocyte at 2 mg/ml concentration. Further in the cell morphology studies, cell showed condensed chromatin, cytoplasmic blubbing and detachment from the surface. Furthermore, the presence of tetramine was confirmed based on the Rf values and it was chemically identified as Tetramethylammonium chloride (Pub Chem CID: 6379 through the gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis. Conclusions: From the human health point of view, though the residue levels of N,N,N'- trimethyl-1,2-ethanediamine, Tetramethylammonium chloride and N,N-dimethylglycine detected in this study are well below the maximum residue

  9. Physical Characterization of Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxin Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-10-01

    modern food -preserving processes in Western countries has made 1 outbreaks of botulism extremely rare. The frequent use of C.botulinum as a test...organism in the food industry, and the growing use of the toxin by neurobiochemists, has, however, led to the development of human vaccines. The...390v 400v DOTE [• - F -TK--VQ -- 0Q ---YI G Q KM YLFKL NS N - S - N I G NF N K 383 DOTFIFT ED L AINIK FIKIV C RINIT YIF I K MCF LVPIN L L D DDIDII YIT

  10. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-08-16

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds.

  11. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Hammerschlag

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg, because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA, a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds.

  12. Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins: structure, function and therapeutic utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turton, Kathryn; Chaddock, John A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2002-11-01

    The toxic products of the anaerobic bacteria Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium butyricum, Clostridium barati and Clostridium tetani are the causative agents of botulism and tetanus. The ability of botulinum neurotoxins to disrupt neurotransmission, often for prolonged periods, has been exploited for use in several medical applications and the toxins, as licensed pharmaceutical products, now represent the therapeutics of choice for the treatment for several neuromuscular conditions. Research into the structures and activities of botulinum and tetanus toxins has revealed features of these proteins that might be useful in the design of improved vaccines, effective inhibitors and novel biopharmaceuticals. Here, we discuss the relationships between structure, mechanism of action and therapeutic use.

  13. Labile neurotoxin in serum of calves with "nervous" coccidiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isler, C M; Bellamy, J E; Wobeser, G A

    1987-01-01

    Mouse inoculation was used to test for the presence of a toxin in the serum, cerebrospinal fluid, and intestinal contents collected from cases of bovine enteric coccidiosis, with and without neurological signs, and from control calves. Intravenous inoculation of mice with 10 mL/kg of serum from calves showing nervous signs caused effects significantly different from those caused by the inoculation of serum from calves not showing nervous signs and from control calves. The effect was particularly evident in female mice. At this dosage severe neurological signs such as loss of righting reflex, seizures and death occurred only with serum from calves with "nervous coccidiosis". The results suggest that serum from the calves with neurological signs contains a neurotoxin. This toxin appears to be highly labile. It was not present in the cerebrospinal fluid at levels comparable to those in the serum. The significance of this labile neurotoxin with respect to the pathogenesis of the neurological signs associated with bovine enteric coccidiosis is unknown. PMID:2955865

  14. Genetically engineered red cells expressing single domain camelid antibodies confer long-term protection against botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Nai-Jia; Pishesha, Novalia; Mukherjee, Jean; Zhang, Sicai; Deshycka, Rhogerry; Sudaryo, Valentino; Dong, Min; Shoemaker, Charles B; Lodish, Harvey F

    2017-09-04

    A short half-life in the circulation limits the application of therapeutics such as single-domain antibodies (VHHs). We utilize red blood cells to prolong the circulatory half-life of VHHs. Here we present VHHs against botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) on the surface of red blood cells by expressing chimeric proteins of VHHs with Glycophorin A or Kell. Mice whose red blood cells carry the chimeric proteins exhibit resistance to 10,000 times the lethal dose (LD50) of BoNT/A, and transfusion of these red blood cells into naive mice affords protection for up to 28 days. We further utilize an improved CD34+ culture system to engineer human red blood cells that express these chimeric proteins. Mice transfused with these red blood cells are resistant to highly lethal doses of BoNT/A. We demonstrate that engineered red blood cells expressing VHHs can provide prolonged prophylactic protection against bacterial toxins without inducing inhibitory immune responses and illustrates the potentially broad translatability of our strategy for therapeutic applications.The therapeutic use of single-chain antibodies (VHHs) is limited by their short half-life in the circulation. Here the authors engineer mouse and human red blood cells to express VHHs against botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) on their surface and show that an infusion of these cells into mice confers long lasting protection against a high dose of BoNT/A.

  15. A model for short alpha-neurotoxin bound to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordvintsev, Dmitry Y; Polyak, Yakov L; Kuzmine, Dmitry A; Levtsova, Olga V; Tourleigh, Yegor V; Kasheverov, Igor E

    2006-01-01

    Short- and long-chain alpha-neurotoxins from snake venoms are potent blockers of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Short alpha-neurotoxins consist of 60-62 amino acid residues and include 4 disulfide bridges, whereas long alpha-neurotoxins have 66-75 residues and 5 disulfides. The spatial structure of these toxins is built by three loops, I-III "fingers," confined by four disulfide bridges; the fifth disulfide of long-chain alpha-neurotoxins is situated close to the tip of central loop II. An accurate knowledge of the mode of alpha-neurotoxin-nAChR interaction is important for rational design of new nAChR agonists and antagonists for medical purposes. Ideas on the topography of toxin-nAChR complexes were based until recently on nAChR interactions with selectively labeled alpha-neurotoxins, mutations in toxins, nAChR, or both. Recently, crystal structures have been solved for the Torpedo marmorata nAChR (4A[Unwin, 2005]) and for the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) complexed with mollusk alpha-conotoxin (2.4 A[Celie et al., 2005]) or alpha-cobratoxin, long-chain alpha-neurotoxin (4 A [Bourne et al., 2005]). However, there were no angstrom-resolution models for complexes of short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Here, we report the model of the Torpedo californica nAChR extracellular domain complexed to a short-chain alpha-neurotoxin II (NTII) from Naja oxiana cobra venom.

  16. The botulinum neurotoxin LD50 test - problems and solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitz, Silke

    2010-01-01

    Apart from the fact that the LD50 test is generally considered a procedure causing severe distress, which alone should result in its immediate deletion, it also conflicts with the EU wide ban on cosmetic testing in animals in the case of Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) testing. The European Pharmacopoeia monograph allows for the use of three alternative methods provided they are validated. However these alternative assays are neither implemented by the manufactures of BoNT products nor are they enforced by the responsible authorities, e.g. by deleting the LD50 from the European Pharmacopoeia. The number of animals used for the testing of BoNT is not officially recorded. However, data from an undercover investigation allow the estimation that the number of mice used in LD50tests for BoNT products is greater than 600,000 per year worldwide.

  17. Structural Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type G Receptor Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitt, John; Karalewitz, Andrew; Benefield, Desire A.; Mushrush, Darren J.; Pruitt, Rory N.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Lacy, D. Borden (Vanderbilt); (MCW)

    2010-10-19

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds peripheral neurons at the neuromuscular junction through a dual-receptor mechanism that includes interactions with ganglioside and protein receptors. The receptor identities vary depending on BoNT serotype (A-G). BoNT/B and BoNT/G bind the luminal domains of synaptotagmin I and II, homologous synaptic vesicle proteins. We observe conditions under which BoNT/B binds both Syt isoforms, but BoNT/G binds only SytI. Both serotypes bind ganglioside G{sub T1b}. The BoNT/G receptor-binding domain crystal structure provides a context for examining these binding interactions and a platform for understanding the physiological relevance of different Syt receptor isoforms in vivo.

  18. The travel diaries of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surana, Sunaina; Tosolini, Andrew P; Meyer, Ione F G; Fellows, Alexander D; Novoselov, Sergey S; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2017-10-12

    Tetanus (TeNT) and botulinum (BoNT) neurotoxins, the causative agents of tetanus and botulism, respectively, are the most potent toxic molecules known to mankind. This extreme potency is attributed to: i) their specificity for essential components of the neurotransmitter release machinery present at vertebrate synapses, and ii) their high-affinity targeting to motor neurons by binding to polysialogangliosides and protein receptors. Comprising the clostridial neurotoxin family, TeNT and BoNTs engage distinct surface receptors and intracellular sorting pathways in neurons. BoNTs bind to the intraluminal domain of specific synaptic vesicle proteins that are exposed to the extracellular milieu upon exocytosis, and are taken up by synaptic vesicle recycling. A sizeable proportion of BoNT molecules remain at the neuromuscular junction, where their protease moiety is released into the cytoplasm, blocking synaptic transmission and causing flaccid paralysis. In contrast, TeNT undergoes binding to specific components of the basal membrane at the neuromuscular junction, is endocytosed into motor neurons and sorted to axonal signalling endosomes. Following this, TeNT is transported to the soma of motor neurons located in the spinal cord or brainstem, and then transcytosed to inhibitory interneurons, where it blocks synaptic transmission. TeNT-induced impairment of inhibitory input leads to hyperactivity of motor neurons, causing spastic paralysis, which is the hallmark of tetanus. This review examines the molecular mechanisms leading to the entry, sorting and intracellular trafficking of TeNT and BoNTs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. A Label Free Colorimetric Assay for the Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A by SNAP-25 Conjugated Colloidal Gold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Gwenin

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most potent toxins known to man. Current methods of detection involve the quantification of the toxin but do not take into account the percentage of the toxin that is active. At present the assay used for monitoring the activity of the toxin is the mouse bioassay, which is lengthy and has ethical issues due to the use of live animals. This report demonstrates a novel assay that utilises the endopeptidase activity of the toxin to detect Botulinum neurotoxin in a pharmaceutical sample. The cleaving of SNAP-25 is monitored via UV-Visible spectroscopy with a limit of detection of 373 fg/mL and has been further developed into a high throughput method using a microplate reader detecting down to 600 fg/mL of active toxin. The results show clear differences between the toxin product and the placebo, which contains the pharmaceutical excipients human serum albumin and lactose, showing that the assay detects the active form of the toxin.

  20. Effect of previous botulinum neurotoxin treatment on microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, Xuhui; Thirumala, Parthasarathy D; Shah, Aalap; Gardner, Paul; Habeych, Miguel; Crammond, Donald J; Balzer, Jeffrey; Horowitz, Michael

    2013-01-01

    ...) in patients with and without previous botulinum neurotoxin treatment for hemifacial spasm (HFS). The authors analyzed 246 MVDs performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007...

  1. Purification and characterization of a neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Long-Sen; Liou, Jau-Cheng; Lin, Shinne-Ren; Huang, Hsien-Bin

    2002-06-14

    A neurotoxin, Oh9-1, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that Oh9-1 consists of 57 amino acids and eight cysteine residues. This protein was mainly constituted with beta-sheet as evidenced by CD spectrum. Oh9-1 inhibited carbachol-induced muscle contraction in an irreversible manner and the dose for achieving 50% inhibition was approximately fourfold that of alpha-bungarotoxin. Since the residues in alpha-neurotoxins closely involve in the binding with acetylcholine receptors are not highly conserved in this toxin molecule, Oh9-1 represents a novel type of neurotoxin structurally distinct from alpha-neurotoxins.

  2. Structure-activity studies of homologues of short chain neurotoxins from Elapid snake venoms.

    OpenAIRE

    Harvey, A. L.; Hider, R C; Hodges, S J; Joubert, F. J.

    1984-01-01

    Three neurotoxin homologues (CM10 and CM12 from Naja haje annulifera and S5C10 from Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae) and two short neurotoxins (CM14 from Naja haje annulifera and erabutoxin b from Laticauda semifasciata) were examined by circular dichroism (c.d.) and tested for neuromuscular activity on chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparations. All three homologues had acetylcholine receptor blocking activity, as they abolished responses to indirect stimulation, acetylcholine and carba...

  3. Structure-activity studies of homologues of short chain neurotoxins from Elapid snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, A L; Hider, R C; Hodges, S J; Joubert, F J

    1984-07-01

    Three neurotoxin homologues (CM10 and CM12 from Naja haje annulifera and S5C10 from Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae) and two short neurotoxins (CM14 from Naja haje annulifera and erabutoxin b from Laticauda semifasciata) were examined by circular dichroism (c.d.) and tested for neuromuscular activity on chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparations. All three homologues had acetylcholine receptor blocking activity, as they abolished responses to indirect stimulation, acetylcholine and carbachol but had no effect on responses to direct muscle stimulation. CM10 was only about 5 times less potent than the short neurotoxin CM14; S5C10 and CM12 were respectively 30 and 300 times less active. The block induced by the three homologues, but not by the neurotoxins, was readily reversed by washing. CM10 and CM12 had virtually identical c.d. spectra which were closely similar to those of the neurotoxins. The spectrum of S5C10 indicated changes in the environment of tyrosine-25 and in the position of tryptophan-29. These alterations could distort the 3-dimensional arrangement of the residues postulated to form the receptor binding site. The results with CM10 and CM12 highlight a role for the first loop (residues 6-16) in the binding of neurotoxins to acetylcholine receptors, in addition to the previously postulated reactive site.

  4. [Mechanism of action and therapeutic uses of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, M R; Marvaud, J C; Raffestin, S

    2001-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic spore forming bacteria, Clostridiumbotulinum. They are synthesized as a single chain protein (150kDa) which is not or weakly active. The active form results from proteolysis that cleaves the precursor into a light chain (about 50kDa) and a heavy chain (about 100kDa) which are linked by a disulfide bridge. The heavy chain is involved in the recognition of a specific neurone surface receptor and mediates the internalization of the light chain into the cytosol. The light chain is responsible for the intracellular activity. It catalyzes the proteolysis of SNARE proteins which are involved in the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles containing acetylcholine. Hence, the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction is blocked leading to a flaccid paralysis. The tetanus neurotoxin shares with botulinum neurotoxins a common structure and mechanism of action. Tetanus neurotoxin blocks the release of neurotransmitters in the inhibitory interneurons leading to spastic paralysis. The paralytic properties of the botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat certain myoclonies such as blepharospasm, torticolis, hemifacial paralysis. Botulinum neurotoxins are thus efficient therapeutic agents helpful in avoiding surgery.

  5. Structure-activity studies of homologues of short chain neurotoxins from Elapid snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, A. L.; Hider, R. C.; Hodges, S. J.; Joubert, F. J.

    1984-01-01

    Three neurotoxin homologues (CM10 and CM12 from Naja haje annulifera and S5C10 from Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae) and two short neurotoxins (CM14 from Naja haje annulifera and erabutoxin b from Laticauda semifasciata) were examined by circular dichroism (c.d.) and tested for neuromuscular activity on chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparations. All three homologues had acetylcholine receptor blocking activity, as they abolished responses to indirect stimulation, acetylcholine and carbachol but had no effect on responses to direct muscle stimulation. CM10 was only about 5 times less potent than the short neurotoxin CM14; S5C10 and CM12 were respectively 30 and 300 times less active. The block induced by the three homologues, but not by the neurotoxins, was readily reversed by washing. CM10 and CM12 had virtually identical c.d. spectra which were closely similar to those of the neurotoxins. The spectrum of S5C10 indicated changes in the environment of tyrosine-25 and in the position of tryptophan-29. These alterations could distort the 3-dimensional arrangement of the residues postulated to form the receptor binding site. The results with CM10 and CM12 highlight a role for the first loop (residues 6-16) in the binding of neurotoxins to acetylcholine receptors, in addition to the previously postulated reactive site. PMID:6743920

  6. Structure-function relationship in the binding of snake neurotoxins to the torpedo membrane receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicheportiche, R; Vincent, J P; Kopeyan, C; Schweitz, H; Lazdunski, M

    1975-05-20

    The Cys30-Cus34 bridge present in all long neutotoxins (71-74 amino acids, 5 disulfide bridges), but not in short toxins (60-63 amino acids, 4 disulfide bridges), is exposed at the surface since it can be reduced rapidly and selectively by sodium borohydride. Reduction and alkylation of the Cys30-Cys34 bridge of Naja haje neurotoxin III hardly alter the conformational properties of this model long toxin. Although alkylation by iodoacetic acid of th -SH groups liberated by reduction abolishes the toxicity, alkylation by iodoacetamide or ethylenimine does not affect the curarizing efficacy of the toxin. The Cys30-Cys34 bridge is not very important for the toxic activity of long neurotoxins. Reduction of the Cys30-Cys34 bridge followed by alkylation with radioactive iodoacetamide gave a labeled and active toxin which is a convenient derivative for binding experiments to the toxin receptor in membranes of the Torpedo electric organ. The binding capacity of these membrane is 1200 pmol of toxin/mg of membrane protein. The dissociation constant of the modified toxin-receptor complex at pH 7.4, 20 degrees is 10 minus 8m. Reduction with carbroxamidomethylation of the Cys30-Cys34 bridge decreases the affinity of the native Naja haje toxin only by a factor of 15. Carboxymethylation after reduction prevents binding to the membrane receptor. The binding properties of the derivative obtained by reduction and aminoethylation of Cys30-Cys34 are very similar to those of native neurotoxin III; the affinity is decreased only by a factor of 5. Binding properties to Toredo membrane of long neurotoxins (Naja haje neurotoxin III) and short neurotoxins (Naje haje toxin I and Naja mossambica toxin I) have been compared. Dissociation constants of receptor-long neurotoxin and receptor-short neurotoxin complexes are very similar (5.7 minus 8.2 times 10(-10) M at pH 7.4, 20degrees. However, the kinetics of complex formation and complex dissociation are quite different. Short neurotoxins

  7. Botulinum neurotoxin C mutants reveal different effects of syntaxin or SNAP-25 proteolysis on neuromuscular transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanetti, Giulia; Sikorra, Stefan; Rummel, Andreas; Krez, Nadja; Duregotti, Elisa; Negro, Samuele; Henke, Tina; Rossetto, Ornella; Binz, Thomas; Pirazzini, Marco

    2017-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype C (BoNT/C) is a neuroparalytic toxin associated with outbreaks of animal botulism, particularly in birds, and is the only BoNT known to cleave two different SNARE proteins, SNAP-25 and syntaxin. BoNT/C was shown to be a good substitute for BoNT/A1 in human dystonia therapy because of its long lasting effects and absence of neuromuscular damage. Two triple mutants of BoNT/C, namely BoNT/C S51T/R52N/N53P (BoNT/C α-51) and BoNT/C L200W/M221W/I226W (BoNT/C α-3W), were recently reported to selectively cleave syntaxin and have been used here to evaluate the individual contribution of SNAP-25 and syntaxin cleavage to the effect of BoNT/C in vivo. Although BoNT/C α-51 and BoNT/C α-3W toxins cleave syntaxin with similar efficiency, we unexpectedly found also cleavage of SNAP-25, although to a lesser extent than wild type BoNT/C. Interestingly, the BoNT/C mutants exhibit reduced lethality compared to wild type toxin, a result that correlated with their residual activity against SNAP-25. In spite of this, a local injection of BoNT/C α-51 persistently impairs neuromuscular junction activity. This is due to an initial phase in which SNAP-25 cleavage causes a complete blockade of neurotransmission, and to a second phase of incomplete impairment ascribable to syntaxin cleavage. Together, these results indicate that neuroparalysis of BoNT/C at the neuromuscular junction is due to SNAP-25 cleavage, while the proteolysis of syntaxin provides a substantial, but incomplete, neuromuscular impairment. In light of this evidence, we discuss a possible clinical use of BoNT/C α-51 as a botulinum neurotoxin endowed with a wide safety margin and a long lasting effect.

  8. The Receptor Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Stereotype C Binds Phosphoinositides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yanfeng; Varnum, Susan M.

    2012-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic proteins known for humans and animals with an extremely low LD50 of {approx} 1 ng/kg. BoNTs generally require a protein and a ganglioside on the cell membrane surface for binding, which is known as a 'dual receptor' mechanism for host intoxication. Recent studies have suggested that in addition to gangliosides, other membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides may be involved in the interactions with the receptor binding domain (HCR) of BoNTs for better membrane penetration. Here, using two independent lipid-binding assays, we tested the interactions of BoNT/C-HCR with lipids in vitro. BoNT/C-HCR was found to bind negatively charged phospholipids, preferentially phosphoinositides. Additional interactions to phosphoinositides may help BoNT/C bind membrane more tightly and transduct signals for subsequent steps of intoxication. Our results provide new insights into the mechanisms of host cell membrane recognition by BoNTs.

  9. [Monoclonal antibodies to type A, B, E and F botulinum neurotoxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasova, S G; Ruddenko, N V; Gorokhovatskiĭ, A Iu; Kapralova, M V; Vinogradova, I D; Vertiev, Iu V; Nesmeianov, V A; Grishin, E V

    2011-01-01

    Mouse monoclonal antibodies against the most acutely toxic substances, botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) of types A, B, E, and F, was generated and characterized, that recognize their respective toxins in natural toxin complex. Based on these antibodies, we developed sandwich-ELISA for quantitative detection of these toxins. For each respective toxin the detection limit of the assay was: BoNT/A - 0.4 ng/ml, BoNT/B - 0.5 ng/ml; BoNT/E - 0.1 ng/ml; and for BoNT/F - 2.4 ng/ml. The developed assays permitted quantitative identification of the BoNTs in canned meat and vegetables. The BNTA-4.1 and BNTA-9.1 antibodies possessed neutralizing activity against natural complex of the botulinium toxin type A in vivo, both individually and in mixture, the mixture of the antibodies neutralized the higher dose of the toxin. The BNTA-4.1 antibody binds specifically the light chain (the chain with protease activity) of the toxin, whereas BNTA-9.1 interacts with the heavy chain. We believe that the BNTA-4.1 and BNTA-9.1 monoclonal antibodies are prospective candidates for development of humanized therapeutic antibodies for treatment of BoNT/A-caused botulism.

  10. Recommended Mass Spectrometry-Based Strategies to Identify Botulinum Neurotoxin-Containing Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne R. Kalb

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs cause the disease called botulism, which can be lethal. BoNTs are proteins secreted by some species of clostridia and are known to cause paralysis by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Although the human lethal dose of BoNT is not accurately known, it is estimated to be between 0.1 μg to 70 μg, so it is important to enable detection of small amounts of these toxins. Our laboratory previously reported on the development of Endopep-MS, a mass-spectrometric‑based endopeptidase method to detect, differentiate, and quantify BoNT immunoaffinity purified from complex matrices. In this work, we describe the application of Endopep-MS for the analysis of thirteen blinded samples supplied as part of the EQuATox proficiency test. This method successfully identified the presence or absence of BoNT in all thirteen samples and was able to successfully differentiate the serotype of BoNT present in the samples, which included matrices such as buffer, milk, meat extract, and serum. Furthermore, the method yielded quantitative results which had z-scores in the range of −3 to +3 for quantification of BoNT/A containing samples. These results indicate that Endopep-MS is an excellent technique for detection, differentiation, and quantification of BoNT in complex matrices.

  11. Identification of a Botulinum Neurotoxin-like Toxin in a Commensal Strain of Enterococcus faecium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sicai; Lebreton, Francois; Mansfield, Michael J; Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Zhang, Jie; Schwartzman, Julia A; Tao, Liang; Masuyer, Geoffrey; Martínez-Carranza, Markel; Stenmark, Pål; Gilmore, Michael S; Doxey, Andrew C; Dong, Min

    2018-02-14

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by various Clostridium strains, are a family of potent bacterial toxins and potential bioterrorism agents. Here we report that an Enterococcus faecium strain isolated from cow feces carries a BoNT-like toxin, designated BoNT/En. It cleaves both VAMP2 and SNAP-25, proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle exocytosis in neurons, at sites distinct from known BoNT cleavage sites on these two proteins. Comparative genomic analysis determines that the E. faecium strain carrying BoNT/En is a commensal type and that the BoNT/En gene is located within a typical BoNT gene cluster on a 206 kb putatively conjugative plasmid. Although the host species targeted by BoNT/En remains to be determined, these findings establish an extended member of BoNTs and demonstrate the capability of E. faecium, a commensal organism ubiquitous in humans and animals and a leading cause of hospital-acquired multi-drug-resistant (MDR) infections, to horizontally acquire, and possibly disseminate, a unique BoNT gene cluster. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Increased concentrations of the neurotoxin 3-hydroxykynurenine in the frontal cortex of HIV-1-positive patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardar, A M; Bell, J E; Reynolds, G P

    1995-02-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-associated dementia is a frequent consequence of HIV infection and is associated with neuronal deficits. Increased concentrations of the kynurenine pathway metabolites 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) and quinolinic acid (QA) may contribute to this neuronal damage. We measured 3-HK concentrations and the activity of its catabolising enzyme, 3-hydroxykynureninase, in postmortem brain tissue from eight controls and 32 HIV-positive patients, including a group that exhibited dementia. 3-HK concentrations were significantly increased (over threefold) in the HIV-positive group when compared with controls. This increase was greater in those patients with dementia, but it was still apparent in the nondemented cases. 3-Hydroxykynureninase activity was significantly increased in the HIV-infected group compared with the control values. The effect was apparent in both nondementia and dementia cases, although the latter showed a slightly greater increase. The 3-HK content increase is thus unrelated to a reduction in activity of this enzyme and is likely to reflect an overall increase in the kynurenic metabolic pathway. Elevated levels of the neurotoxin 3-HK may contribute to the neuronal deficits underlying HIV-associated dementia.

  13. Assay of diffusion of different botulinum neurotoxin type a formulations injected in the mouse leg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carli, Luca; Montecucco, Cesare; Rossetto, Ornella

    2009-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is very effective in the therapy of a wide range of human syndromes characterized by hyperactivity of peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals. Little diffusion of this toxin from the site of injection is commonly observed, but even minor changes in this property would greatly affect the validity of the treatment. Different pharmacological formulations of BoNT/A are available, and they may have different diffusion characteristics due to protein complex size, product format, and pharmacological properties. Here we assessed the extent of diffusion of three commercial preparations of BoNT/A: Botox (Allergan), Dysport (Ipsen), and Xeomin (Merz Pharmaceuticals) using a novel and highly sensitive test based on neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) expression in muscle. N-CAM is a membrane glycoprotein that accumulates on muscle fibers after denervation and is not expressed in untreated adult muscle. This allows fine monitoring of the functional diffusion of this toxin, and the sensitivity of this assay is emphasized by the use of the mouse model because of the small muscle dimensions. The results presented here indicate that there is no significant difference between Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin with respect to diffusion into adjacent muscles in the mouse leg.

  14. Challenges in searching for therapeutics against Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella

    2017-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent toxins known. BoNTs are responsible for botulism, a deadly neuroparalytic syndrome caused by the inactivation of neurotransmitter release at peripheral nerve terminals. Thanks to their specificity and potency, BoNTs are both considered potential bio-weapons and therapeutics of choice for a variety of medical syndromes. Several variants of BoNTs have been identified with individual biological properties and little antigenic relation. This expands greatly the potential of BoNTs as therapeutics but poses a major safety problem, increasing the need for finding appropriate antidotes. Areas covered: The authors describe the multi-step molecular mechanism through which BoNTs enter nerve terminals and discuss the many levels at which the toxins can be inhibited. They review the outcomes of the different strategies adopted to limit neurotoxicity and counter intoxication. Potential new targets arising from the last discoveries of the mechanism of action and the approaches to promote neuromuscular junction recovery are also discussed. Expert opinion: Current drug discovery efforts have mainly focused on BoNT type A and addressed primarily light chain proteolytic activity. Development of pan-BoNT inhibitors acting independently of BoNT immunological properties and targeting a common step of the intoxication process should be encouraged.

  15. The N-terminal half of the receptor domain of botulinum neurotoxin A binds to microdomains of the plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraro, Lucia; Tosatto, Silvio; Motterlini, Lisa; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2009-02-27

    Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) is largely employed in human therapy because of its specific inhibition of peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals. BoNT/A binds to them rapidly and with high specificity via its receptor binding domain termed HC. Recent evidence indicate that BoNT/A interacts specifically with polysialogangliosides and with a luminal loop of the synaptic vesicle protein SV2 via the C-terminal half of HC. Here we show that the N-terminal half of HC binds to sphingomyelin-enriched membrane microdomains and that it has a defined interaction with phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIP). We have identified a PIP binding site in this half of HC and we show how this interaction could predispose BoNT/A for membrane insertion, which is the step subsequent to binding, in the four-steps route leading BoNT/A inside nerve terminals.

  16. Individual and bivalent vaccines against botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A and B using DNA-based Semliki Forest virus vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yunzhou; Yu, Jiyu; Li, Na; Wang, Shuang; Yu, Weiyuan; Sun, Zhiwei

    2009-10-19

    We evaluated individual and bivalent replicon vaccines against Clostridiumbotulinum neurotoxin serotypes A (BoNT/A) or B (BoNT/B). The DNA replicon vaccine (pSCARSBHc) encoding the Hc domain of BoNT/B (BHc) induced better responses and protection against BoNT/B mouse challenge than conventional DNA vaccine. The dual-expressing DNA vaccine (pSCARSA/BHc) protected similarly to a DNA replicon vaccine mixture (pSCARSAHc+pSCARSBHc). Additionally, recombinant SFV particles, VRP-AHc or VRP-BHc, protected mice from high-dose BoNT/A or BoNT/B challenge, respectively. Mice given either dual-expressing VRP-A/BHc or mixture of VRP-AHc and VRP-BHc were protected from challenge with serotype A/B mixtures. These data justify further testing in other animals or humans.

  17. Widespread sequence variations in VAMP1 across vertebrates suggest a potential selective pressure from botulinum neurotoxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisheng Peng

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A-G, the most potent toxins known, act by cleaving three SNARE proteins required for synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Previous studies on BoNTs have generally utilized the major SNARE homologues expressed in brain (VAMP2, syntaxin 1, and SNAP-25. However, BoNTs target peripheral motor neurons and cause death by paralyzing respiratory muscles such as the diaphragm. Here we report that VAMP1, but not VAMP2, is the SNARE homologue predominantly expressed in adult rodent diaphragm motor nerve terminals and in differentiated human motor neurons. In contrast to the highly conserved VAMP2, BoNT-resistant variations in VAMP1 are widespread across vertebrates. In particular, we identified a polymorphism at position 48 of VAMP1 in rats, which renders VAMP1 either resistant (I48 or sensitive (M48 to BoNT/D. Taking advantage of this finding, we showed that rat diaphragms with I48 in VAMP1 are insensitive to BoNT/D compared to rat diaphragms with M48 in VAMP1. This unique intra-species comparison establishes VAMP1 as a physiological toxin target in diaphragm motor nerve terminals, and demonstrates that the resistance of VAMP1 to BoNTs can underlie the insensitivity of a species to members of BoNTs. Consistently, human VAMP1 contains I48, which may explain why humans are insensitive to BoNT/D. Finally, we report that residue 48 of VAMP1 varies frequently between M and I across seventeen closely related primate species, suggesting a potential selective pressure from members of BoNTs for resistance in vertebrates.

  18. Heterologous expression, protein folding and antibody recognition of a neurotoxin from the Mexican coral snake Micrurus laticorallis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Herlinda; Flores, Vianey; De la Rosa, Guillermo; Zamudio, Fernando; Alagon, Alejandro; Corzo, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The cysteine-rich neurotoxins from elapid venoms are primarily responsible for human and animal envenomation; however, their low concentration in the venom may hamper the production of efficient elapid antivenoms. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to produce fully active elapid neurotoxic immunogens for elapid antivenom production. Cysteine-rich neurotoxins showed recombinant expression in two strains of E. coli, and were purified using affinity chromatography and reverse-phase HPLC (rpHPLC). The cDNA of the four disulfide-bridged peptide neurotoxin Mlat1 was cloned into a modified expression vector, pQE30, which was transfected into two different E. coli strains. The recombinant toxin (HisrMlat1) was found only in inclusion bodies in M15 strain cells, and in both inclusion bodies and cytoplasm in Origami strain cells. The HisrMlat1 from inclusion bodies from M15 cells was solubilized using guanidine hydrochloride, and then purified by rpHPLC. It showed various contiguous fractions having the same molecular mass, indicating that HisrMlat1 was oxidized after cell extraction forming different misfolded disulfide bridge arrangements without biological activity. In vitro folding conditions of the misfolded HisrMlat1 generated a biologically active HisrMlat1. On the other hand, the HisrMlat1 from the cytoplasm from Origami cells was already soluble, and then purified by HPLC. It showed a single fraction with neurotoxic activity; so, no folding steps were needed. The in vitro folded HisrMlat1 from M15 cells and the cytoplasmic soluble HisrMlat1from Origami cells were indistinguishable in their structure and neurotoxicity. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised up against biologically active HisrMlat1 recognized the native Mlat1 (nMlat1) from the whole venom of M. laticorallis. In addition, HisrMlat1 was recognized by horse polyclonal antibodies obtained from the immunization of elapid species from sub-Saharan Africa. HisrMlat1 shows increased biological activities

  19. PEG precipitation coupled with chromatography is a new and sufficient method for the purification of botulinum neurotoxin type B [corrected].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Zhao

    Full Text Available Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat a variety of neuro-muscular disorders, as well as in cosmetology. The increased demand requires efficient methods for the production and purification of these toxins. In this study, a new purification process was developed for purifying type B neurotoxin. The kinetics of C.botulinum strain growth and neurotoxin production were determined for maximum yield of toxin. The neurotoxin was purified by polyethylene glycol (PEG precipitation and chromatography. Based on design of full factorial experiment, 20% (w/v PEG-6000, 4 °C, pH 5.0 and 0.3 M NaCl were optimal conditions to obtain a high recovery rate of 87% for the type B neurotoxin complex, as indicated by a purification factor of 61.5 fold. Furthermore, residual bacterial cells, impurity proteins and some nucleic acids were removed by PEG precipitation. The following purification of neurotoxin was accomplished by two chromatography techniques using Sephacryl™ S-100 and phenyl HP columns. The neurotoxin was recovered with an overall yield of 21.5% and the purification factor increased to 216.7 fold. In addition, a mouse bioassay determined the purified neurotoxin complex possessed a specific toxicity (LD(50 of 4.095 ng/kg.

  20. Structural and functional characterization of a novel homodimeric three-finger neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2010-03-12

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (alphabetagammadelta) and neuronal (alpha(7), alpha(3)beta(2), and alpha(4)beta(2)) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for alpha(7)-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 A) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like kappa-neurotoxins, which target neuronal alpha(3)beta(2)- and alpha(4)beta(2)-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain alpha-neurotoxins and kappa-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of alpha(7)-nAChRs (IC(50) 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain alpha-neurotoxins nor kappa-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain alpha-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal alpha(7)-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs.

  1. Synthetic peptide antigens derived from long-chain alpha-neurotoxins: Immunogenicity effect against elapid venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Rosa, Guillermo; Pastor, Nina; Alagón, Alejandro; Corzo, Gerardo

    2017-02-01

    Three-finger toxins (3FTXs), especially α-neurotoxins, are the most poorly neutralized elapid snake toxins by current antivenoms. In this work, the conserved structural similarity and motif arrangements of long-chain α-neurotoxins led us to design peptides with consensus sequences. Eight long-chain α-neurotoxins (also known as Type II) were used to generate a consensus sequence from which two peptides were chemically synthesized, LCP1 and LCP2. Rabbit sera raised against them were able to generate partially-neutralizing antibodies, which delayed mice mortality in neutralization assays against Naja haje, Dendrospis polylepis and Ophiophagus hannah venoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Solubility of the catalytic domains of Botulinum neurotoxin serotype E subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Sheng; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2016-02-01

    The Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent protein toxins known to humans. There are seven serotypes of the BoNTs (A-G), among which serotypes A, B, E and F are known to cause natural human intoxication. To date, eleven subtypes of LC/E, termed E1∼E11, have been identified. The LCs of BoNT/E were insoluble, prohibiting studies towards understanding the mechanisms of toxin action and substrate recognition. In this work, the molecular basis of insolubility of the recombinant LCs of two representative subtypes of BoNT/E, E1(Beluga) and E3 (Alaska), was determined. Hydrophobicity profile and structural modeling predicted a C-terminal candidate region responsible for the insolubility of LC/Es. Deletion of C-terminal 19 residues of LC/E(1-400) resulted in enhanced solubility, from 2 to ∼50% for LC/EAlaska and from 16 to ∼95% for LC/EBeluga. In addition, resides 230-236 were found to contribute to a different solubility level of LC/EAlaska when compared to LC/EBeluga. Substituting residues (230)TCI(232) in LC/EAlaska to the corresponding residues of (230)KYT(232) in LC/EBeluga enhanced the solubility of LC/EAlaska to a level approaching that of LC/EBeluga. Among these LC/Es and their derivatives, LC/EBeluga 1-400 was the most soluble and stable protein. Each LC/E derivative possessed similar catalytic activity, suggesting that the C-terminal region of LC/Es contributed to protein solubility, but not catalytic activity. In conclusion, this study generated a soluble and stable recombinant LC/E and provided insight into the structural components that govern the solubility and stability of the LCs of other BoNT serotypes and Tetanus toxin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Purification and characterization of a cytotoxic neurotoxin-like protein from Naja haje haje venom that induces mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Hakim, Amr E; Gamal-Eldeen, Amira M; Shahein, Yasser E; Mansour, Nahla M; Wahby, Ahmed F; Abouelella, Amira M K

    2011-08-01

    This study reported the purification and characterization of a cytotoxic, neurotoxin-like protein derived from the venom of the Egyptian cobra Naja haje haje, Elapidae family, and explored their mechanistic role in the cell death. The protein purification was performed through ion-exchange chromatography and gel-filtration chromatography and was characterized by SDS-PAGE, amino acid sequencing, and mass spectrum analysis. The antitumor activity of Naja haje venom (NHV) and its fractions (NHVI, NHV-Ia, NHV-Ib, NHV-Ic, NHV-II, NHV-III, and NHV-IV) were tested against different human cancer cell lines. The molecular cascade of cell death was explored through evaluation of apoptosis/necrosis ratio, DNA fragmentation, histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψ(m)), cytochrome c release, total caspases, caspase-3, caspase-9, and cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry. Most of the separated fractions possessed variable cytotoxic effect against different cancer cells. The most potent antitumor fraction was NHV-Ic due to its ability to induce DNA damaging and fragmentation that was associated with a significant induction of apoptosis via mitochondrial pathway and disturbed cell cycle phases as well as an inhibition of HDAC activity. NHV-Ic induced the mitochondrial pathway initially by the impairment of Δψ(m) besides the DNA damage and in response to that the mitochondria-released cytochrome c that may in turn activated total caspases, caspase-3 and caspase-9 in lymphoblastic leukemia 1301 cells. The partial amino acid sequencing of NHV-Ic revealed 100, 95.65, and 91.3% homology with the Long neurotoxin 1 from Naja haje anchietae (Angolan cobra), Naja haje haje (Egyptian cobra), and Boulengerina annulata annulata (banded water cobra), respectively.

  4. Production and evaluation of a recombinant chimeric vaccine against clostridium botulinum neurotoxin types C and D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Luciana A F; da Cunha, Carlos Eduardo P; Moreira, Gustavo M S G; Salvarani, Felipe M; Assis, Ronnie A; Lobato, Francisco Carlos F; Mendonça, Marcelo; Dellagostin, Odir A; Conceição, Fabricio R

    2013-01-01

    Bovine botulism is a fatal disease that is caused by botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by Clostridium botulinum serotypes C and D and that causes great economic losses, with nearly 100% lethality during outbreaks. It has also been considered a potential source of human food-borne illness in many countries. Vaccination has been reported to be the most effective way to control bovine botulism. However, the commercially available toxoid-based vaccines are difficult and hazardous to produce. Neutralizing antibodies targeted against the C-terminal fragment of the BoNT heavy chain (HC) are known to confer efficient protection against lethal doses of BoNTs. In this study, a novel recombinant chimera, consisting of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit (LTB), a strong adjuvant of the humoral immune response, fused to the HC of BoNT serotypes C and D, was produced in E. coli. Mice vaccinated with the chimera containing LTB and an equivalent molar ratio of the chimera without LTB plus aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3) developed 2 IU/mL of antitoxins for both serotypes. Guinea pigs immunized with the recombinant chimera with LTB plus Al(OH)3 developed a protective immune response against both BoNT/C (5 IU/mL) and BoNT/D (10 IU/mL), as determined by a mouse neutralization bioassay with pooled sera. The results achieved with guinea pig sera fulfilled the requirements of commercial vaccines for prevention of botulism, as determined by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, Supply. The presence of LTB was essential for the development of a strong humoral immune response, as it acted in synergism with Al(OH)3. Thus, the vaccine described in this study is a strong candidate for the control of botulism in cattle.

  5. A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Weisemann, Jasmin; Peng, Lisheng; Krez, Nadja; Perry, Kay; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Dong, Min; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng (BCH); (Cornell); (Tufts CTSI); (UCI); (MHH)

    2017-08-07

    Antibody treatment is currently the only available countermeasure for botulism, a fatal illness caused by flaccid paralysis of muscles due to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication. Among the seven major serotypes of BoNT/A-G, BoNT/A poses the most serious threat to humans because of its high potency and long duration of action. Prior to entering neurons and blocking neurotransmitter release, BoNT/A recognizes motoneurons via a dual-receptor binding process in which it engages both the neuron surface polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Previously, we identified a potent neutralizing antitoxin against BoNT/A1 termed ciA-C2, derived from a camelid heavy-chain-only antibody (VHH). In this study, we demonstrate that ciA-C2 prevents BoNT/A1 intoxication by inhibiting its binding to neuronal receptor SV2. Furthermore, we determined the crystal structure of ciA-C2 in complex with the receptor-binding domain of BoNT/A1 (HCA1) at 1.68 Å resolution. The structure revealed that ciA-C2 partially occupies the SV2-binding site on HCA1, causing direct interference of HCA1 interaction with both the N-glycan and peptide-moiety of SV2. Interestingly, this neutralization mechanism is similar to that of a monoclonal antibody in clinical trials, despite that ciA-C2 is more than 10-times smaller. Taken together, these results enlighten our understanding of BoNT/A1 interactions with its neuronal receptor, and further demonstrate that inhibiting toxin binding to the host receptor is an efficient countermeasure strategy.

  6. Production and evaluation of a recombinant chimeric vaccine against clostridium botulinum neurotoxin types C and D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana A F Gil

    Full Text Available Bovine botulism is a fatal disease that is caused by botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs produced by Clostridium botulinum serotypes C and D and that causes great economic losses, with nearly 100% lethality during outbreaks. It has also been considered a potential source of human food-borne illness in many countries. Vaccination has been reported to be the most effective way to control bovine botulism. However, the commercially available toxoid-based vaccines are difficult and hazardous to produce. Neutralizing antibodies targeted against the C-terminal fragment of the BoNT heavy chain (HC are known to confer efficient protection against lethal doses of BoNTs. In this study, a novel recombinant chimera, consisting of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit (LTB, a strong adjuvant of the humoral immune response, fused to the HC of BoNT serotypes C and D, was produced in E. coli. Mice vaccinated with the chimera containing LTB and an equivalent molar ratio of the chimera without LTB plus aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH3 developed 2 IU/mL of antitoxins for both serotypes. Guinea pigs immunized with the recombinant chimera with LTB plus Al(OH3 developed a protective immune response against both BoNT/C (5 IU/mL and BoNT/D (10 IU/mL, as determined by a mouse neutralization bioassay with pooled sera. The results achieved with guinea pig sera fulfilled the requirements of commercial vaccines for prevention of botulism, as determined by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, Supply. The presence of LTB was essential for the development of a strong humoral immune response, as it acted in synergism with Al(OH3. Thus, the vaccine described in this study is a strong candidate for the control of botulism in cattle.

  7. A Highly Specific Monoclonal Antibody for Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A-Cleaved SNAP25

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Rhéaume

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A, as onabotulinumtoxinA, is approved globally for 11 major therapeutic and cosmetic indications. While the mechanism of action for BoNT/A at the presynaptic nerve terminal has been established, questions remain regarding intracellular trafficking patterns and overall fate of the toxin. Resolving these questions partly depends on the ability to detect BoNT/A’s location, distribution, and movement within a cell. Due to BoNT/A’s high potency and extremely low concentrations within neurons, an alternative approach has been employed. This involves utilizing specific antibodies against the BoNT/A-cleaved SNAP25 substrate (SNAP25197 to track the enzymatic activity of toxin within cells. Using our highly specific mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb against SNAP25197, we generated human and murine recombinant versions (rMAb using specific backbone immunoglobulins. In this study, we validated the specificity of our anti-SNAP25197 rMAbs in several different assays and performed side-by-side comparisons to commercially-available and in-house antibodies against SNAP25. Our rMAbs were highly specific for SNAP25197 in all assays and on several different BoNT/A-treated tissues, showing no cross-reactivity with full-length SNAP25. This was not the case with other reportedly SNAP25197-selective antibodies, which were selective in some, but not all assays. The rMAbs described herein represent effective new tools for detecting BoNT/A activity within cells.

  8. Multiplex PCR for Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridia in Clinical, Food, and Environmental Samples▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Medici, Dario; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Wyatt, Gary M.; Lindström, Miia; Messelhäußer, Ute; Aldus, Clare F.; Delibato, Elisabetta; Korkeala, Hannu; Peck, Michael W.; Fenicia, Lucia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most toxic substance known, is produced by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum and, in rare cases, also by some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii. The standard procedure for definitive detection of BoNT-producing clostridia is a culture method combined with neurotoxin detection using a standard mouse bioassay (SMB). The SMB is highly sensitive and specific, but it is expensive and time-consuming and there are ethical concerns due to use of laboratory animals. PCR provides a rapid alternative for initial screening for BoNT-producing clostridia. In this study, a previously described multiplex PCR assay was modified to detect all type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes in isolated strains and in clinical, food, environmental samples. This assay includes an internal amplification control. The effectiveness of the multiplex PCR method for detecting clostridia possessing type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes was evaluated by direct comparison with the SMB. This method showed 100% inclusivity and 100% exclusivity when 182 BoNT-producing clostridia and 21 other bacterial strains were used. The relative accuracy of the multiplex PCR and SMB was evaluated using 532 clinical, food, and environmental samples and was estimated to be 99.2%. The multiplex PCR was also used to investigate 110 freshly collected food and environmental samples, and 4 of the 110 samples (3.6%) were positive for BoNT-encoding genes. PMID:19684163

  9. Multiplex PCR for detection of botulinum neurotoxin-producing clostridia in clinical, food, and environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Medici, Dario; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Wyatt, Gary M; Lindström, Miia; Messelhäusser, Ute; Aldus, Clare F; Delibato, Elisabetta; Korkeala, Hannu; Peck, Michael W; Fenicia, Lucia

    2009-10-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most toxic substance known, is produced by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum and, in rare cases, also by some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii. The standard procedure for definitive detection of BoNT-producing clostridia is a culture method combined with neurotoxin detection using a standard mouse bioassay (SMB). The SMB is highly sensitive and specific, but it is expensive and time-consuming and there are ethical concerns due to use of laboratory animals. PCR provides a rapid alternative for initial screening for BoNT-producing clostridia. In this study, a previously described multiplex PCR assay was modified to detect all type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes in isolated strains and in clinical, food, environmental samples. This assay includes an internal amplification control. The effectiveness of the multiplex PCR method for detecting clostridia possessing type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes was evaluated by direct comparison with the SMB. This method showed 100% inclusivity and 100% exclusivity when 182 BoNT-producing clostridia and 21 other bacterial strains were used. The relative accuracy of the multiplex PCR and SMB was evaluated using 532 clinical, food, and environmental samples and was estimated to be 99.2%. The multiplex PCR was also used to investigate 110 freshly collected food and environmental samples, and 4 of the 110 samples (3.6%) were positive for BoNT-encoding genes.

  10. Effect of previous botulinum neurotoxin treatment on microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuhui; Thirumala, Parthasarathy D; Shah, Aalap; Gardner, Paul; Habeych, Miguel; Crammond, Donald J; Balzer, Jeffrey; Horowitz, Michael

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics, intraoperative findings, complications, and outcomes after the first microvascular decompression (MVD) in patients with and without previous botulinum neurotoxin treatment for hemifacial spasm (HFS). The authors analyzed 246 MVDs performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007. One hundred and seventy-six patients with HFS underwent botulinum neurotoxin injection treatment prior to first MVD (Group I), and 70 patients underwent their first MVD without previous botulinum neurotoxin treatment (Group II). Clinical outcome data were obtained immediately after the operation, at discharge, and at follow-up. Follow-up data were collected from 177 patients with a minimum follow-up period of 9 months (mean 54.48 ± 27.84 months). In 246 patients, 89.4% experienced immediate postoperative relief of spasm, 91.1% experienced relief at discharge, and 92.7% experienced relief at follow-up. There was no significant difference in outcomes and complications between Group I and Group II (p > 0.05). Preoperatively, patients in Group I had higher rates of facial weakness, tinnitus, tonus, and platysmal involvement as compared with Group II (p 0.05). No significant differences in complications were noted between the 2 groups. Microvascular decompression is an effective and safe procedure for patients with HFS previously treated using botulinum neurotoxin. Intraoperative monitoring with LSR is an effective tool for evaluating adequate decompression.

  11. Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    instructions. Fractions containing recombinant proteins were dialysed against toxin assay buffer (150 mM KC glutamate, 10 mM Hepes- KOH, pH 7.2...Neurotoxin B Substrate Requirements 581Biosciences, Freiburg, Germany) or Ni2C-nitrilotriacetic acid-agarose beads and finally dialysed against 10 mM

  12. Rapid multiplex immunoassay to distinguish botulinum neurotoxin serotypes on a single lateral flow device(Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT/A–G). The potency of these toxins result in a high mortality rate with BoNT/A and /B accounting for most of the naturally occurring outbreaks. The ease of BoNT production and their potential use as bi...

  13. Structural basis for recognition of synaptic vesicle protein 2C by botulinum neurotoxin A

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benoit, Roger M.; Frey, Daniel; Hilbert, Manuel; Kevenaar, Josta T.; Wieser, Mara M.; Stirnimann, Christian U.; McMillan, David; Ceska, Tom; Lebon, Florence; Jaussi, Rolf; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Schertler, Gebhard F X; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) belongs to the most dangerous class of bioweapons. Despite this, BoNT/A is used to treat a wide range of common medical conditions such as migraines and a variety of ocular motility and movement disorders. BoNT/A is probably best known for its use as an antiwrinkle

  14. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Ozbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-04-07

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones.

  15. Complete Assignment of (1)H-NMR Resonances of the King Cobra Neurotoxin CM-11.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Yu-Xi; Liu, Wei-Dong; Liu, Ai-Zhuo; Pei, Feng-Kui

    1997-01-01

    The king cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah) neurotoxin CM-Il is long-chain peptide with 72 amino acid residues. Its complete assignment of (1)H-NMR resonances was obtained using various 2D-NMR technologies, including DQF-COSY, clean-TOCSY and NOESY.

  16. The Deubiquitinating Enzyme VCIP135 Dictates the Duration of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A Intoxication

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-27

    Classification: Biological Sciences/Cell Biology The deubiquitinating enzyme VCIP135 dictates the duration of botulinum neurotoxin type A...ubiquitin ligase HECTD2. However, the light chain evades proteasomal degradation by the dominant effect of a deubiquitinating enzyme VCIP135/VCPIP1...catalytic light chain (LCA). We report that a deubiquitinating enzyme prevents proteasomal degradation of LCA by antagonizing a ubiquitin ligase

  17. Defensin-neurotoxin dyad in a basally branching metazoan sea anemone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chan-Hee; Lee, Ye Jin; Go, Hye-Jin; Oh, Hye Young; Lee, Tae Kwan; Park, Ji Been; Park, Nam Gyu

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies suggest that vertebrate and invertebrate defensins have evolved from two independent ancestors, and that both defensins could share origins with animal toxins. Here, we purified novel sea anemone neurotoxin (BDS)-like antimicrobial peptides (AMPs)-Crassicorin-I and its putative homolog (Crassicorin-II)-from the pharynx extract of an anthozoan sea anemone (Urticina crassicornis). Based on structural analyses and cDNA cloning, mature Crassicorin-I represents a cationic AMP likely generated from a precursor and comprising 40 amino acid residues, including six cysteines forming three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Recombinant Crassicorin-I produced in a heterologous bacterial-expression system displayed antimicrobial activity against both a gram-positive bacterium (Bacillus subtilis) and gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica). The Crassicorin-I transcript was upregulated by immune challenge, suggesting its involvement in defense mechanisms against infectious pathogens in sea anemone. Sequence alignment and three-dimensional molecular modeling revealed that Crassicorin-I exhibits high degrees of structural similarity to sea anemone neurotoxins that share β-defensin fold which is found in vertebrate defensins and invertebrate big-defensins. Consistent with its structural similarity to neurotoxins, Crassicorin-I exhibited paralytic activity toward a crustacean. These findings motivated our investigation and subsequent discovery of antimicrobial activity from other known sea anemone neurotoxins, such as APETx1 and ShK. Collectively, our work signified that Crassicorin-I is the first AMP identified from a sea anemone and provided evidence of a functional linkage between AMPs and neurotoxins in a basally branching metazoan. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  18. Botulinum neurotoxin type A injections for vaginismus secondary to vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolasi, Laura; Frasson, Emma; Cappelletti, Jee Yun; Vicentini, Silvana; Bordignon, Monia; Graziottin, Alessandra

    2009-11-01

    To investigate whether botulinum neurotoxin type A improves vaginismus and study its efficacy with repeated treatments. Outpatients were referred because standard cognitive-behavioral and medical treatment for vaginismus and vulvar vestibular syndrome failed. From this group, we prospectively recruited consecutive women (n=39) whose diagnostic electromyogram (EMG) recordings from the levator ani muscle showed hyperactivity at rest and reduced inhibition during straining. These women were followed for a mean (+/-standard deviation) of 105 (+/-50) weeks. Recruited patients underwent repeated cycles of botulinum neurotoxin type A injected into the levator ani under EMG guidance and EMG monitoring thereafter. At enrollment and 4 weeks after each cycle, women were asked about sexual intercourse; underwent EMG evaluation and examinations to grade vaginal resistance according to Lamont; and completed a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, the Female Sexual Function Index Scale, a quality-of-life questionnaire (Short-Form 12 Health Survey), and bowel and bladder symptom assessment. At 4 weeks after the first botulinum neurotoxin type A cycle, the primary outcome measures (the possibility of having sexual intercourse, and levator ani EMG hyperactivity) both improved, as did the secondary outcomes, Lamont scores, VAS, Female Sexual Function Index Scales, Short-Form 12 Health Survey, and bowel-bladder symptoms. These benefits persisted through later cycles. When follow-up ended, 63.2% of the patients completely recovered from vaginismus and vulvar vestibular syndrome, 15.4% still needed reinjections (censored), and 15.4% had dropped out. Botulinum neurotoxin type A is an effective treatment option for vaginismus secondary to vulvar vestibular syndrome refractory to standard cognitive-behavioral and medical management. After patients received botulinum neurotoxin type A, their sexual activity improved and reinjections provided sustained benefits. III.

  19. An Investigation of Immunogenicity of Chitosan-Based Botulinum Neurotoxin E Binding Domain Recombinant Candidate Vaccine via Mucosal Route

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Javad Bagheripour

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Botulism syndrome is caused by serotypes A-G of neurotoxins of Clostridium genus. Neurotoxin binding domain is an appropriate vaccine candidate due to its immunogenic activity. In this study, the immunogenicity of chitosan-based botulinum neurotoxin E binding domain recombinant candidate vaccine was investigated via mucosal route of administration. Methods: In this experimental study, chitosan nanoparticles containing rBoNT/E protein were synthesized by ionic gelation method and were administered orally and intranasally to mice. After each administration, IgG antibody titer was measured by ELISA method. Finally, all groups were challenged with active botulinum neurotoxin type E. Data were analyzed using Duncan and repeated ANOVA tests. The significance level was considered as p0.05, even intranasal route reduced the immunogenicity.

  20. Biochemistry of snake venom neurotoxins and their application to the study of synapse. [Neurotoxins isolated from venom of the Formosan banded krait

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanley, M.R.

    1978-11-01

    The crude venom of the Formosan banded krait, Bungarus multicinctus, was separated into eleven lethal protein fractions. Nine fractions were purified to final homogeneous toxins, designated ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 7, 8, 9A, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Three of the toxins, ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, 7, and 8, were identified as post-synaptic curarimimetic neurotoxins. The remaining toxins were identified as pre-synaptic neurotoxins. ..cap alpha..-Bungarotoxin, toxin 7, and toxin 8 are all highly stable basic polypeptides of approx. 8000 daltons molecular weight. The pre-synaptic toxins fell into two structural groups: toxin 9A and 14 which were single basic chains of approx. 14,000 daltons, and ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 11 thru 13 which were composed of two chains of approx. 8000 and approx. 13,000 daltons covalently linked by disulfides. All the pre-synaptic neurotoxins were shown to have intrinsic calcium-dependent phospholipase A activities. Under certain conditions, intact synaptic membranes were hydrolyzed more rapidly than protein-free extracted synaptic-lipid liposomes which, in turn, were hydrolyzed more rapidly than any other tested liposomes. It was speculated that cell-surface arrays of phosphatidyl serine/glycolipids created high affinity target sites for ..beta..-bungarotoxin. Single-chain toxins were found to be qualitatively different from the two-chain toxins in their ability to block the functioning of acetylcholine receptors, and were quantitatively different in their enzymatic and membrane disruptive activities. ..beta..-Bungarotoxin was shown to be an extremely potent neuronal lesioning agent. There was no apparent selectivity for cholinergic over non-cholinergic neurons, nor for nerve terminals over cell bodies. It was suggested that ..beta..-bungarotoxin can be considered a useful new histological tool, which may exhibit some regional selectivity.

  1. Current gaps in basic science knowledge of botulinum neurotoxin biological actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria of the genus Clostridium in several dozens of variants that inactivate neurotransmitter release owing to their metalloprotease activity. This results in a persistent paralysis of peripheral nerve terminals known as botulism. They are the most potent toxins known and are classified as one of the six highest-risk threat agents of bioterrorism. Despite their high toxicity, two of them are used as valuable pharmaceutical for the therapy of many neurological and non-neurological disorders. Notwithstanding the many advances in our understanding of the genetics and structure of botulinum neurotoxins, there are still many gaps in knowledge of toxin mechanism of action that will be discussed here. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Small Molecules Showing Significant Protection of Mice against Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-13

    thereby causing prolonged flaccid paralysis , serious medical sequelae, or death [1]. Despite its toxicity, the purified and diluted BoNT serotype A...BoNTA) can be harnessed to treat cholinergic nerve and muscle dysfunctions, as well as for cosmetic treatment of facial wrinkles [2,3]. Even in...botulinum neurotoxin B, C1, E, and F compared with the long lasting type A. Basis for distinct durations of inhibition of exocytosis in central neurons. J

  3. Neurotoxins and their binding areas on voltage-gated sodium channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijke eStevens

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Voltage-gated Sodium Channels (VGSCs are large transmembrane proteins that conduct sodium ions across the membrane and by doing so they generate signals of communication between many kinds of tissues. They are responsible for the generation and propagation of action potentials in excitable cells, in close collaboration with other channels like potassium channels. Genetic defects in sodium channel genes therefore can cause a wide variety of diseases, generally called ‘channelopathies’.The first insights into the mechanism of action potentials and the involvement of sodium channels originated from Hodgkin and Huxley for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963. Until now, these concepts still form the basis for understanding the functioning of VGSCs. When VGSCs sense a sufficient change in membrane potential, they are activated and will generate a massive influx of sodium ions. Immediately after, channels will start inactivating and currents decrease. In the inactivated state channels stay refractory for any new stimulus and they must return to the closed state before being susceptible to any new depolarization. On the other hand, studies with neurotoxins like tetrodotoxin (TTX and saxitoxin (STX also contributed largely to our today’s understanding of the structure and function of ion channels and specifically of VGSCs. Moreover, neurotoxins acting on ion channels turned out to be valuable tools in the development of new drugs for the enormous range of diseases in which ion channels are involved. A recent example of a synthetic neurotoxin that made it to the market is ziconotide (Prialt®, Elan. The original peptide, -MVIIA, is derived from the cone snail Conus magus and now FDA/EMEA-approved for the management of severe chronic pain by blocking the N-type voltage-gated calcium channels in neurons.This review focuses on the current status of research on neurotoxins acting on VGSC, their contribution to further unravel the

  4. Substrate binding mode and its implication on drug design for botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desigan Kumaran

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC has declared them as Category A biowarfare agents. The most potent among them, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A, cleaves its substrate synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25. An efficient drug for botulism can be developed only with the knowledge of interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site. Here, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A with its uncleavable SNAP-25 peptide (197QRATKM(202 and its variant (197RRATKM(202 to 1.5 A and 1.6 A, respectively. This is the first time the structure of an uncleavable substrate bound to an active botulinum neurotoxin is reported and it has helped in unequivocally defining S1 to S5' sites. These substrate peptides make interactions with the enzyme predominantly by the residues from 160, 200, 250 and 370 loops. Most notably, the amino nitrogen and carbonyl oxygen of P1 residue (Gln197 chelate the zinc ion and replace the nucleophilic water. The P1'-Arg198, occupies the S1' site formed by Arg363, Thr220, Asp370, Thr215, Ile161, Phe163 and Phe194. The S2' subsite is formed by Arg363, Asn368 and Asp370, while S3' subsite is formed by Tyr251, Leu256, Val258, Tyr366, Phe369 and Asn388. P4'-Lys201 makes hydrogen bond with Gln162. P5'-Met202 binds in the hydrophobic pocket formed by the residues from the 250 and 200 loop. Knowledge of interactions between the enzyme and substrate peptide from these complex structures should form the basis for design of potent inhibitors for this neurotoxin.

  5. On the role of endogenous neurotoxins and neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Segura-Aguilar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available For 50 years ago was introduced L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa in Parkinson's disease treatment and during this significant advances has been done but what trigger the degeneration of the nigrostriatal system remain unknown. There is a general agreement in the scientific community that mitochondrial dysfunction, protein degradation dysfunction, alpha-synuclein aggregation to neurotoxic oligomers, neuroinflammation, oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress are involved in the loss of dopaminergic neurons containing neuromelanin in Parkinson's disease. The question is what triggers these mechanisms. The age of normal onset in idiopathic Parkinson's disease suggests that environmental factors such as metals, pollutants or genetic mutations cannot be involved because these factors are related to early onset of Parkinsonism. Therefore, we have to search for endogenous neurotoxins and neuroprotection in order to understand what trigger the loss of dopaminergic neurons. One important feature of Parkinson's disease is the rate of the degenerative process before the motor symptoms are evident and during the disease progression. The extremely slow rate of Parkinson's disease suggests that the neurotoxins and the neuroprotection have to be related to dopamine metabolism. Possible candidates for endogenous neurotoxins are alpha-synuclein neurotoxic oligomers, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde and ortho-quinones formed during dopamine oxidation to neuromelanin. Vesicular monoamine transporter-2, DT-diaphorase and glutathione transferase M2-2 seems to be the most important neuroprotective mechanism to prevent neurotoxic mechanism during dopamine oxidation.

  6. The Structure of the Neurotoxin- Associated Protein HA33/A from Clostridium botulinum Suggests a Reoccurring Beta-Trefoil Fold in the Progenitor Toxin Complex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Arndt, Joseph W; Gu, Jenny; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Hanson, Michael A; Lebeda, Frank L; Stevens, Raymond C

    2004-01-01

    The hemagglutinating protein HA33 from Clostridium botulinum is associated with the large botulinum neurotoxin secreted complexes and is critical in toxin protection, internalization, and possibly activation...

  7. Cytotoxicity of Botulinum Neurotoxins Reveals a Direct Role of Syntaxin 1 and SNAP-25 in Neuron Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Lisheng; Liu, Huisheng; Ruan, Hongyu; Tepp, William H.; Stoothoff, William H.; Brown, Robert H.; Johnson, Eric A.; Yao, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Su-Chun; Dong, Min

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A-G) are well-known to act by blocking synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Whether BoNTs disrupt additional neuronal functions has not been addressed. Here we report that cleavage of syntaxin 1 (Syx 1) by BoNT/C and cleavage of SNAP-25 by BoNT/E both induce degeneration of cultured rodent and human neurons. Furthermore, although SNAP-25 cleaved by BoNT/A can still support neuron survival, it has reduced capacity to tolerate additional mutations and also fails to pair with syntaxin isoforms other than Syx 1. Syx 1 and SNAP-25 are well-known for mediating synaptic vesicle exocytosis, but we found that neuronal death is due to blockage of plasma membrane recycling processes that share Syx 1/SNAP-25 for exocytosis, independent of blockage of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. These findings reveal neuronal cytotoxicity for a subset of BoNTs and directly link Syx 1/SNAP-25 to neuron survival as the prevalent SNARE proteins mediating multiple fusion events on neuronal plasma membranes. PMID:23403573

  8. The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ alters hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission by modulation of the GABAergic system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YuYing eHuang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP induces Parkinson’s disease (PD-like symptoms following administration to mice, monkeys and humans. A common view is that MPTP is metabolized to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+ to induce its neurodegenerative effects on dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Moreover, the hippocampus contains dopaminergic fibers, which are projecting from the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and pars compacta and contain the whole machinery required for dopamine synthesis making them sensitive to MPTP and MPP+. Here we present data showing that acute bath-application of MPP+ elicited a dose-dependent facilitation followed by a depression of synaptic transmission of hippocampal Schaffer collaterals-CA1 synapses in mice. The effects of MPP+ were not mediated by D1/D5- and D2-like receptor activation. Inhibition of the dopamine transporters (DAT did not prevent but increased the depression of excitatory postsynaptic field potentials. In the search for a possible mechanism, we observed that MPP+ reduced the appearance of polyspikes in population spikes recorded in str. pyramidale and increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The acute effect of MPP+ on synaptic transmission was attenuated by co-application of a GABAA receptor antagonist. Taking these data together, we suggest that MPP+ affects hippocampal synaptic transmission by enhancing some aspects of

  9. A new peptide substrate for enhanced botulinum neurotoxin type B detection by endopeptidase-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry/multiple reaction monitoring assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Osnat; Feldberg, Liron; Gura, Sigalit; Zichel, Ran

    2015-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic proteins in nature. Rapid and sensitive detection of BoNTs is achieved by the endopeptidase-mass spectrometry (Endopep-MS) assay. In this assay, BoNT cleaves a specific peptide substrate and the cleaved products are analyzed by MS. Here we describe the design of a new peptide substrate for improved detection of BoNT type B (BoNT/B) in the Endopep-MS assay. Our strategy was based on reported BoNT/B-substrate interactions integrated with analysis method efficiency considerations. Incorporation of the new peptide led to a 5-fold increased sensitivity of the assay both in buffer and in a clinically relevant human spiked serum. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Botulinum neurotoxin vaccines: Past history and recent developments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusnak, Janice M; Smith, Leonard A

    2009-12-01

    Botulinum toxin may cause a neuroparalytic illness that may result in respiratory failure and require prolonged mechanical ventilation. As medical resources needed for supportive care of botulism in a bioterrorist event may quickly overwhelm the local healthcare systems, biodefense research efforts have been directed towards the development of a vaccine to prevent botulism. While human botulism has been caused only by toxin serotypes A, B, and E (rarely serotype F), all seven known immunologically distinct toxin serotypes (A - G) may potentially cause intoxication in humans from a bioterrorist event. A pentavalent (ABCDE) botulinum toxoid (PBT) has been administered as an investigation new drug (IND) to at-risk individuals for nearly 50 years. Due to declining immunogenicity of the PBT, research efforts have been directed at development of both improved (less local reactogenicity) botulinum toxoids and recombinant vaccines as potential vaccine candidates to replace the PBT.

  11. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) induces neuronal and behavioral changes in honeybees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okle, Oliver, E-mail: oliver.okle@uni-konstanz.de [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Jacob-Burckhardt-Strasse 25, 78457 Konstanz (Germany); Rath, Lisa; Galizia, C. Giovanni [Zoology and Neurobiology, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz (Germany); Dietrich, Daniel R., E-mail: daniel.dietrich@uni-konstanz.de [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Jacob-Burckhardt-Strasse 25, 78457 Konstanz (Germany)

    2013-07-01

    The cyanobacterially produced neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is thought to induce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC)-like symptoms. However, its mechanism of action and its pathway of intoxication are yet unknown. In vivo animal models suitable for investigating the neurotoxic effect of BMAA with applicability to the human are scarce. Hence, we used the honeybee (Apis mellifera) since its nervous system is relatively simple, yet having cognitive capabilities. Bees fed with BMAA-spiked sugar water had an increased mortality rate and a reduced ability to learn odors in a classical conditioning paradigm. Using {sup 14}C-BMAA we demonstrated that BMAA is biologically available to the bee, and is found in the head, thorax and abdomen with little to no excretion. BMAA is also transferred from one bee to the next via trophallaxis resulting in an exposure of the whole beehive. BMAA bath application directly onto the brain leads to an altered Ca{sup 2+} homeostasis and to generation of reactive oxygen species. These behavioral and physiological observations suggest that BMAA may have effects on bee brains similar to those assumed to occur in humans. Therefore the bee could serve as a surrogate model system for investigating the neurological effects of BMAA. - Highlights: • Investigating of neurotoxic effects of BMAA in honeybees • BMAA impairs ALS markers (ROS, Ca{sup 2+}, learning, memory, odor) in bees. • A method for the observation of ROS development in living bees brain was established. • Honeybees are a suitable model to explore neurodegenerative processes. • Neurotoxic BMAA can be spread in bee populations by trophallaxis.

  12. In Vitro Detection and Quantification of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E Activity in Avian Blood▿

    OpenAIRE

    Piazza, Timothy M.; Blehert, David S.; Dunning, F. Mark; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Zeytin, Füsûn N.; Samuel, Michael D.; Tucker, Ward C.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) outbreaks in the Great Lakes region cause large annual avian mortality events, with an estimated 17,000 bird deaths reported in 2007 alone. During an outbreak investigation, blood collected from bird carcasses is tested for the presence of BoNT/E using the mouse lethality assay. While sensitive, this method is labor-intensive and low throughput and can take up to 7 days to complete. We developed a rapid and sensitive in vitro assay, the BoTest Matrix E...

  13. Two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 represses transcription from botulinum neurotoxin promoters in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Zhang

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Blocking neurotransmission, botulinum neurotoxin is the most poisonous biological substance known to mankind. Despite its infamy as the scourge of the food industry, the neurotoxin is increasingly used as a pharmaceutical to treat an expanding range of muscle disorders. Whilst neurotoxin expression by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum appears tightly regulated, to date only positive regulatory elements, such as the alternative sigma factor BotR, have been implicated in this control. The identification of negative regulators has proven to be elusive. Here, we show that the two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 negatively regulates botulinum neurotoxin expression. Single insertional inactivation of cbo0787 encoding a sensor histidine kinase, or of cbo0786 encoding a response regulator, resulted in significantly elevated neurotoxin gene expression levels and increased neurotoxin production. Recombinant CBO0786 regulator was shown to bind to the conserved -10 site of the core promoters of the ha and ntnh-botA operons, which encode the toxin structural and accessory proteins. Increasing concentration of CBO0786 inhibited BotR-directed transcription from the ha and ntnh-botA promoters, demonstrating direct transcriptional repression of the ha and ntnh-botA operons by CBO0786. Thus, we propose that CBO0786 represses neurotoxin gene expression by blocking BotR-directed transcription from the neurotoxin promoters. This is the first evidence of a negative regulator controlling botulinum neurotoxin production. Understanding the neurotoxin regulatory mechanisms is a major target of the food and pharmaceutical industries alike.

  14. Production of the Neurotoxin BMAA by a Marine Cyanobacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Alan Cox

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Diverse species of cyanobacteria have recently been discovered to produce theneurotoxic non-protein amino acid β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA. In Guam, BMAAhas been studied as a possible environmental toxin in the diets of indigenous Chamorropeople known to have high levels of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/ ParkinsonismDementia Complex (ALS/PDC. BMAA has been found to accumulate in brain tissues ofpatients with progressive neurodegenerative illness in North America. In Guam, BMAAwas found to be produced by endosymbiotic cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc which livein specialized cycad roots. We here report detection of BMAA in laboratory cultures of afree-living marine species of Nostoc. We successfully detected BMAA in this marinespecies of Nostoc with five different methods: HPLC-FD, UPLC-UV, Amino AcidAnalyzer, LC/MS, and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS. This consensus of five differentanalytical methods unequivocally demonstrates the presence of BMAA in this marinecyanobacterium. Since protein-associated BMAA can accumulate in increasing levelswithin food chains, it is possible that biomagnification of BMAA could occur in marineecosystems similar to the biomagnification of BMAA in terrestrial ecosystems. Productionof BMAA by marine cyanobacteria may represent another route of human exposure toBMAA. Since BMAA at low concentrations causes the death of motor neurons, low levelsof BMAA exposure may trigger motor neuron disease in genetically vulnerableindividuals.

  15. Assessment: Botulinum neurotoxin for the treatment of movement disorders (an evidence-based review)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, D.M.; Blitzer, A.; Brashear, A.; Comella, C.; Dubinsky, R.; Hallett, M.; Jankovic, J.; Karp, B.; Ludlow, C.L.; Miyasaki, J.M.; Naumann, M.; So, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Objective To perform an evidence-based review of the safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in the treatment of movement disorders. Methods A literature search was performed including MEDLINE and Current Contents for therapeutic articles relevant to BoNT and selected movement disorders. Authors reviewed, abstracted, and classified articles based on American Academy of Neurology criteria (Class I–IV). Results The highest quality literature available for the respective indications was as follows: blepharospasm (two Class II studies); hemifacial spasm (one Class II and one Class III study); cervical dystonia (seven Class I studies); focal upper extremity dystonia (one Class I and three Class II studies); focal lower extremity dystonia (one Class II study); laryngeal dystonia (one Class I study); motor tics (one Class II study); and upper extremity essential tremor (two Class II studies). Recommendations Botulinum neurotoxin should be offered as a treatment option for the treatment of cervical dystonia (Level A), may be offered for blepharospasm, focal upper extremity dystonia, adductor laryngeal dystonia, and upper extremity essential tremor (Level B), and may be considered for hemifacial spasm, focal lower limb dystonia, and motor tics (Level C). While clinicians’ practice may suggest stronger recommendations in some of these indications, evidence-based conclusions are limited by the availability of data. PMID:18458230

  16. Mitochondrial Kinases in Parkinson's Disease: Converging Insights from Neurotoxin and Genetic Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagda, Ruben K.; Zhu, Jianhui; Chu, Charleen T.

    2009-01-01

    Alterations in mitochondrial biology have long been implicated in neurotoxin, and more recently, genetic models of parkinsonian neurodegeneration. In particular, kinase regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and turnover are emerging as central mechanisms at the convergence of neurotoxin, environmental and genetic approaches to studying Parkinson's disease (PD). Kinases that localize to mitochondria during neuronal injury include mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) such as extracellular signal regulated protein kinases (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), protein kinase B/Akt, and PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1). Although site(s) of action within mitochondria and specific kinase targets are still unclear, these signaling pathways regulate mitochondrial respiration, transport, fission-fusion, calcium buffering, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial autophagy and apoptotic cell death. In this review, we summarize accelerating experimental evidence gathered over the last decade that implicate a central role for kinase signaling at the mitochondrion in Parkinson's and related neurodegenerative disorders. Interactions involving α-synuclein, leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), DJ-1 and parkin are discussed. Converging mechanisms from different model systems support the concept of common pathways in parkinsonian neurodegeneration that may be amenable to future therapeutic interventions. PMID:19563915

  17. New Elements To Consider When Modeling the Hazards Associated with Botulinum Neurotoxin in Food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihekwaba, Adaoha E C; Mura, Ivan; Malakar, Pradeep K; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W; Barker, G C

    2015-09-08

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological substances known to mankind. BoNTs are the agents responsible for botulism, a rare condition affecting the neuromuscular junction and causing a spectrum of diseases ranging from mild cranial nerve palsies to acute respiratory failure and death. BoNTs are a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard, since outbreaks of foodborne botulism are caused by the ingestion of preformed BoNTs in food. Currently, mathematical models relating to the hazards associated with C. botulinum, which are largely empirical, make major contributions to botulinum risk assessment. Evaluated using statistical techniques, these models simulate the response of the bacterium to environmental conditions. Though empirical models have been successfully incorporated into risk assessments to support food safety decision making, this process includes significant uncertainties so that relevant decision making is frequently conservative and inflexible. Progression involves encoding into the models cellular processes at a molecular level, especially the details of the genetic and molecular machinery. This addition drives the connection between biological mechanisms and botulism risk assessment and hazard management strategies. This review brings together elements currently described in the literature that will be useful in building quantitative models of C. botulinum neurotoxin production. Subsequently, it outlines how the established form of modeling could be extended to include these new elements. Ultimately, this can offer further contributions to risk assessments to support food safety decision making. Copyright © 2015 Ihekwaba et al.

  18. Systematic analysis of snake neurotoxins' functional classification using a data warehousing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Joyce Phui Yee; Khan, Asif M; Tan, Paul T J; Koh, Judice L Y; Seah, Seng Hong; Koo, Chuay Yeng; Chai, Siaw Ching; Armugam, Arunmozhiarasi; Brusic, Vladimir; Jeyaseelan, Kandiah

    2004-12-12

    Sequence annotations, functional and structural data on snake venom neurotoxins (svNTXs) are scattered across multiple databases and literature sources. Sequence annotations and structural data are available in the public molecular databases, while functional data are almost exclusively available in the published articles. There is a need for a specialized svNTXs database that contains NTX entries, which are organized, well annotated and classified in a systematic manner. We have systematically analyzed svNTXs and classified them using structure-function groups based on their structural, functional and phylogenetic properties. Using conserved motifs in each phylogenetic group, we built an intelligent module for the prediction of structural and functional properties of unknown NTXs. We also developed an annotation tool to aid the functional prediction of newly identified NTXs as an additional resource for the venom research community. We created a searchable online database of NTX proteins sequences (http://research.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/Templar/DB/snake_neurotoxin). This database can also be found under Swiss-Prot Toxin Annotation Project website (http://www.expasy.org/sprot/).

  19. Chemical modification of tryptophan residues in alpha-neurotoxins from Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, C C; Lin, P M; Chang, L S; Kuo, K W

    1995-02-01

    Two alpha-neurotoxins, Oh-4 and Oh-7, from the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom were subjected to Trp modification with 2-nitrophenylsulfenyl chloride (NPS-Cl). One major NPS derivative was isolated from the modified mixtures of Oh-4 and two from Oh-7 by HPLC. Amino acid analysis and sequence determination revealed that Trp-27 in Oh-4, and Trp-30 and Trp-26 and 30 in the two Oh-7 derivatives, were modified, respectively. Sulfenylation of Trp-27 in Oh-4 caused about 70% drop in lethal toxicity and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-binding activity. Modification of Trp-30 in Oh-7 resulted in the decrease of lethal toxicity by 36% and binding activity by 61%. The activities were further lost when the conserved Trp-26 in Oh-7 was modified. Sulfenylation of the Trp residues did not significantly affect the secondary structure of the toxins as revealed by the CD spectra. These results indicate that the Trp residues in these two long alpha-neurotoxins may be involved in the receptor binding.

  20. Acute Radiation Disease : Cutaneous Syndrome and Toxic properties of Radiomimetics -Radiation Neurotoxins and Hematotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Cutaneous injury is an important complication of a general or local acute irradiation. A type of a skin and tissues lesions depends on a type, intensity, and period of irradiation. Also, the clinical picture, signs, and manifestations of the cutaneous syndrome depend on a type of the radiation toxins circulated in lymph and blood of irradiated mammals. Radiation Toxins were isolated from lymph of the mammals that were irradiated and developed different forms of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) -Cerebrovascular, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, and Hematopoietic. Radiation Toxins can be divided into the two important types of toxins (Neu-rotoxins and Hematotoxins) or four groups. The effects of Radiation Neurotoxins include severe damages and cell death of brain, heart, gastrointestinal tissues and endothelial cells of blood and lymphatic vessels. The hematotoxicity of Hematotoxic Radiation Toxins includes lym-phopenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia in the blood circulation and transitory lymphocytosis and leukocytosis in the Central Lymphatic System. In all cases, administration of the Radiomimetics (Radiation Toxins) intramuscularly or intravenously to healthy, radiation naive mammals had induced and developed the typical clinical manifestations of the ARS. In all cases, administration of Radiomimetics by subtoxic doses had demonstrated development of typical clinical signs of the cutaneous syndrome such as hair loss, erythema, swelling, desqua-mation, blistering and skin necrosis. In animal-toxic models, we have activated development of the local skin and tissue injury after injection of Radiation Toxins with cytoxic properties.

  1. Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome : Radiation Neurotoxins, Mechanisms of Toxicity, Neuroimmune Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome (CvARS) is an extremely severe in-jury of Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). CvARS can be induced by the high doses of neutron, heavy ions, or gamma radiation. The Syndrome clinical picture depends on a type, timing, and the doses of radiation. Four grades of the CvARS were defined: mild, moderate, severe, and extremely severe. Also, four stages of CvARS were developed: prodromal, latent, manifest, outcome -death. Duration of stages depends on the types, doses, and time of radiation. The CvARS clinical symptoms are: respiratory distress, hypotension, cerebral edema, severe disorder of cerebral blood microcirculation, and acute motor weakness. The radiation toxins, Cerebro-Vascular Radiation Neurotoxins (SvARSn), determine development of the acute radiation syndrome. Mechanism of action of the toxins: Though pathogenesis of radiation injury of CNS remains unknown, our concept describes the Cv ARS as a result of Neurotoxicity and Excitotoxicity, cell death through apoptotic necrosis. Neurotoxicity occurs after the high doses radiation exposure, formation of radiation neuro-toxins, possible bioradicals, or group of specific enzymes. Intracerebral hemorrhage can be a consequence of the damage of endothelial cells caused by radiation and the radiation tox-ins. Disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB)and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCFB)is possibly the most significant effect of microcirculation disorder and metabolic insufficiency. NMDA-receptors excitotoxic injury mediated by cerebral ischemia and cerebral hypoxia. Dam-age of the pyramidal cells in layers 3 and 5 and Purkinje cell layer the cerebral cortex , damage of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus occur as a result of cerebral ischemia and intracerebral bleeding. Methods: Radiation Toxins of CV ARS are defined as glycoproteins with the molec-ular weight of RT toxins ranges from 200-250 kDa and with high enzymatic activity

  2. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guorui Yao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G, a new mosaic toxin type termed BoNT/HA (aka type FA or H was reported recently. Sequence analyses indicate that the receptor-binding domain (HC of BoNT/HA is ~84% identical to that of BoNT/A1. However, BoNT/HA responds differently to some potent BoNT/A-neutralizing antibodies (e.g., CR2 that target the HC. Therefore, it raises a serious concern as to whether BoNT/HA poses a new threat to our biosecurity. In this study, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of BoNT/HA-HC at 1.8 Å. Sequence and structure analyses reveal that BoNT/HA and BoNT/A1 are different regarding their binding to cell-surface receptors including both polysialoganglioside (PSG and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2. Furthermore, the new structure also provides explanations for the ~540-fold decreased affinity of antibody CR2 towards BoNT/HA compared to BoNT/A1. Taken together, these new findings advance our understanding of the structure and function of this newly identified toxin at the molecular level, and pave the way for the future development of more effective countermeasures.

  3. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Perry, Kay; Weisemann, Jasmin; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng (Cornell); (Dusseldorf); (UCI)

    2017-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G), a new mosaic toxin type termed BoNT/HA (aka type FA or H) was reported recently. Sequence analyses indicate that the receptor-binding domain (HC) of BoNT/HA is ~84% identical to that of BoNT/A1. However, BoNT/HA responds differently to some potent BoNT/A-neutralizing antibodies (e.g., CR2) that target the HC. Therefore, it raises a serious concern as to whether BoNT/HA poses a new threat to our biosecurity. In this study, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of BoNT/HA-HC at 1.8 Å. Sequence and structure analyses reveal that BoNT/HA and BoNT/A1 are different regarding their binding to cell-surface receptors including both polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Furthermore, the new structure also provides explanations for the ~540-fold decreased affinity of antibody CR2 towards BoNT/HA compared to BoNT/A1. Taken together, these new findings advance our understanding of the structure and function of this newly identified toxin at the molecular level, and pave the way for the future development of more effective countermeasures

  4. Emerging roles of eosinophils and eosinophil-derived lipid mediators in the resolution of inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yosuke eIsobe

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Acute inflammation and its resolution are essential processes for tissue protection and homeostasis. Once thought to be a passive process, the resolution of inflammation is now shown to involve active biochemical programs that enable inflamed tissues to return to homeostasis. The mechanisms by which acute inflammation is resolved are of interest, and research in recent years has uncovered new endogenous anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving lipid mediators (i.e. lipoxins, resolvins, protectin, and maresin generated from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs. This review presents new insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammatory resolution, especially the roles of eosinophils, and a series of omega-3 PUFA derived anti-inflammatory lipid mediators that they generate.

  5. Oligosaccharide composition of the neurotoxin-responsive sodium channel of mouse neuroblastoma and requirement of sialic acid for biological activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliegenthart, J.F.G.; Negishi, M.; Kuik, J.A. van; Glick, M.C.

    1992-01-01

    A glycoprotein, Mr, 200000, which has the biological activity of the neurotoxin-responsive Na+ channel, was isolated from a clonal line of mouse neuroblastoma cells, N-18. The glycoprotein was purified to homogeneity in 18% yield by methods used to purify glycoproteins, which included metabolic

  6. Solution structure of toxin b, a long neurotoxin from the venom of the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, S S; Kumar, T K; Jayaraman, G; Chang, C C; Yu, C

    1997-03-21

    The solution structure of toxin b, a long neurotoxin (73 amino acids and 5 disulfides) from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra), has been determined using 1H NMR and dynamical simulated annealing techniques. The structures were calculated using 485 distance constraints and 52 dihedral angle restraints. The 21 structures that were obtained satisfy the experimental restraints and possess good nonbonded contacts. Analysis of the converged structures revealed that the protein consists of a core region from which three finger-like loops extend outwards. The regular secondary structure in toxin b includes a double and a triple stranded antiparallel beta sheet. Comparison with the solution structures of other long neurotoxins reveals that although the structure of toxin b is similar to those of previously reported long neurotoxins, clear local structural differences are observed in regions proposed to be involved in binding to the acetylcholine receptor. A positively charged cluster is found in the C-terminal tail, in Loop III, and in the tip of Loop II. This cationic cluster could be crucial for the binding of the long neurotoxins to the acetylcholine receptor.

  7. A Potent Peptidomimetic Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A has a Very Different Conformation than SNAP-25 Substrate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zuniga, Jorge E; Schmidt, James J; Fenn, Timothy; Burnett, James C; Arac, Demet; Gussio, Rick; Stafford, Robert G; Badie, Shirin S; Bavari, Sina; Brunger, Axel T

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A is the most lethal of all known toxins. Here, we report the crystal structure, along with SAR data, of the zinc metalloprotease domain of BoNT/A bound to a potent peptidomimetic inhibitor (K(i)=41 nM...

  8. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.; Hendriksen, P.J.M.; Haan, de L.H.J.; Koning, R.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Bovee, T.F.H.

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on

  9. Differences in the multiple step process of inhibition of neurotransmitter release induced by tetanus toxin and botulinum neurotoxins type A and B at Aplysia synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulain, B; De Paiva, A; Deloye, F; Doussau, F; Tauc, L; Weller, U; Dolly, J O

    1996-01-01

    In order to gain insights into the steps (binding, uptake, intracellular effect) which differ in the inhibitory actions of tetanus toxin and botulinum neurotoxins types A or B, their temperature dependencies were investigated at identified cholinergic and non-cholinergic synapses in Aplysia. Upon lowering the temperature from 22 degrees C to 10 degrees C, extracellularly applied botulinum neurotoxin type A and B appeared unable to inhibit transmitter release whilst tetanus toxin exhibited a residual activity. Binding of each toxin to the neuronal membrane appeared virtually unaltered following this temperature change. By contrast, the intracellular effects of botulinum neurotoxin type B and tetanus toxin were strongly attenuated by temperature reduction whereas the inhibitory action of botulinum neurotoxin type A was only moderately reduced. Importantly, this discrepancy relates to the known proteolytic cleavage of different synaptic proteins by these two toxin groups. Since both the binding and intracellular activity of botulinum neurotoxin type A are minimally affected at 10 degrees C, its inability to inhibit neurotransmission at this low temperature when applied extracellularly indicated attenuation of its uptake. Due to the strict temperature dependence of the intracellular action of tetanus toxin and botulinum neurotoxin type B, but not A, an examination of the effects of changes in temperature on the internalization step was facilitated by the use of heterologous mixtures of the toxins' heavy and light chains. At 10 degrees C, heavy chain from tetanus toxin but not from botulinum neurotoxin type B mediated uptake of botulinum neurotoxin type A light chain. Collectively, these results provide evidence that, at least in Aplysia, the uptake mechanism for botulinum neurotoxin types A and B differs from that of tetanus toxin.

  10. Snake alpha-neurotoxin binding site on the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor Is conserved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takacs, Z; Wilhelmsen, K C; Sorota, S

    2001-09-01

    Evolutionary success requires that animal venoms are targeted against phylogenetically conserved molecular structures of fundamental physiological processes. Species producing venoms must be resistant to their action. Venoms of Elapidae snakes (e.g., cobras, kraits) contain alpha-neurotoxins, represented by alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX) targeted against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) of the neuromuscular junction. The model which presumes that cobras (Naja spp., Elapidae) have lost their binding site for conspecific alpha-neurotoxins because of the unique amino acid substitutions in their nAChR polypeptide backbone per se is incompatible with the evolutionary theory that (1) the molecular motifs forming the alpha-neurotoxin target site on the nAChR are fundamental for receptor structure and/or function, and (2) the alpha-neurotoxin target site is conserved among Chordata lineages. To test the hypothesis that the alpha-neurotoxin binding site is conserved in Elapidae snakes and to identify the mechanism of resistance against conspecific alpha-neurotoxins, we cloned the ligand binding domain of the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) nAChR alpha subunit. When expressed as part of a functional Naja/mouse chimeric nAChR in Xenopus oocytes, this domain confers resistance against alpha-BTX but does not alter responses induced by the natural ligand acetylcholine. Further mutational analysis of the Naja/mouse nAChR demonstrated that an N-glycosylation signal in the ligand binding domain that is unique to N. haje is responsible for alpha-BTX resistance. However, when the N-glycosylation signal is eliminated, the nAChR containing the N. haje sequence is inhibited by alpha-BTX with a potency that is comparable to that in mammals. We conclude that the binding site for conspecific alpha-neurotoxin in Elapidae snakes is conserved in the nAChR ligand binding domain polypeptide backbone per se. This conclusion supports the hypothesis that animal toxins are targeted against

  11. Inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by cobra venom α-neurotoxins: is there a perspective in lung cancer treatment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Alama

    Full Text Available Nicotine exerts its oncogenic effects through the binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and the activation of downstream pathways that block apoptosis and promote neo-angiogenesis. The nAChRs of the α7 subtype are present on a wide variety of cancer cells and their inhibition by cobra venom neurotoxins has been proposed in several articles and reviews as a potential innovative lung cancer therapy. However, since part of the published results was recently retracted, we believe that the antitumoral activity of cobra venom neurotoxins needs to be independently re-evaluated.We determined the activity of α-neurotoxins from Naja atra (short-chain neurotoxin, α-cobrotoxin and Naja kaouthia (long-chain neurotoxin, α-cobratoxin in vitro by cytotoxicity measurements in 5 lung cancer cell lines, by colony formation assay with α7nAChRs expressing and non-expressing cell lines and in vivo by assessing tumor growth in an orthotopic Non-Obese Diabetic/Severe Combined Immunodeficient (NOD/SCID mouse model system utilizing different treatment schedules and dosages.No statistically significant reduction in tumor growth was observed in the treatment arms in comparison to the control for both toxins. Paradoxically α-cobrotoxin from Naja atra showed the tendency to enhance tumor growth although, even in this case, the statistical significance was not reached.In conclusion our results show that, in contrast with other reports, the nAChR inhibitors α-cobratoxin from N. kaouthia and α-cobrotoxin from N. atra neither suppressed tumor growth nor prolonged the survival of the treated animals.

  12. Neurotoxin Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    a minimum. The gel bits were destained by washing with 200 ml of 25 mM ammonium bicarbonate (Aldrich) in 50% acetonitrile ( synthesis grade, from...albumin in OP toxicity is competition with drugs for binding to the same site in albumin. Several drugs, including diazepam (Fehske et al., 1979; Peters...nonenzymatically to dichlorvos) might be unable to tolerate a standard dose of diazepam or ibuprofen. Or conver- sely, a person taking ibuprofen, could be

  13. Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-28

    1900s. Anecdotal accounts describe the implementation of crude anaerobic fermenters made by burying canteens filled with water, green beans and...failed to respond to the survey or those at nursing facilities or schools . 6. Conclusion BoNT has been investigated as a BW by a number of

  14. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A when utilized in animals with trigeminal sensitization induced a antinociceptive effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elcio J Piovesan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Purpose of the study was evaluate the possible antinociceptive effect of botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A in an experimental model of trigeminal neuralgia. Method Neuropathic pain was induced by surgical constriction of the infraorbital nerve in rats. A control group underwent a sham procedure consisting of surgical exposure of the nerve. Subgroups of each group received either BoNT/A or isotonic saline solution. The clinical response was assessed with the -20°C test. Animals that underwent nerve constriction developed sensitization; the sham group did not. Results The sensitization was reversed by BoNT/A treatment evident 24 hours following application. Pronociceptive effect was observed in the sham group following BoNT/A. Conclusion BoNT/A has an antinociceptive effect in sensitized animals and a pronociceptive effect in non-sensitized animals.

  15. State of functionally essential Trp-29 in snake venom neurotoxins: a proton nuclear magnetic resonance study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, T; Oya, M; Joubert, F J; Hayashi, K; Miyazawa, T

    1989-08-01

    Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra have been recorded of various neurotoxins from snake venoms. pH dependence of the chemical shifts and resonance intensity has been followed for the functionally essential Trp-29. The indole N-1 proton of Trp-29 in alpha-bungarotoxin, toxin B, and cobrotoxin exhibits appreciably large upfield shifts as the pH is lowered and the suppressed exchange with the solvent hydrogen at pH 3-4, but not in Naja haje annulifera 10 where Asp-31 is replaced with Gly-31. This observation strongly suggests the presence of a hydrogen bond between Trp-29 and Asp-31 that is probably important in stabilizing the arrangement of the functionally essential residues to form a distinct binding region for the receptor.

  16. Excitatory amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine is a putative environmental neurotoxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLADIMIR NEDELJKOV

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA has been associated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex in three distinct western Pacific populations. The putative neurotoxin is produced by cyanobacteria, which live symbiotically in the roots of cycad trees. L-BMAA was thought to be a threat only to those few populations whose diet and medicines rely heavily on cycad seeds. However, the recent discovery that cyanobacteria from diverse terrestrial, freshwater, and saltwater ecosystems around the world produce the toxin requires a reassessment of whether it poses a larger health threat. Therefore, it is proposed that monitoring L-BMAA levels in cyanobacteria-contaminated water supplies might be prudent.

  17. Determination of the Secondary Structure of the king Cobra Neurotoxin CM-11.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Yu-Xi; Liu, Wei-Dong; Liu, Ai-Zhuo; Pei, Feng-Kui

    1997-01-01

    The king cobra neurotoxin CM-11 is a small protein with 72 amino acid residues. After its complete assignments of (1)H-NMR resonance's were obtained using various 2D-NMR technologies, including DQF-COSY, clean-TOCSY and NOESY, the secondary structure was analysed by studying the various NOEs extracted from the NOESY spectra and the distribution of chemical shifts. The secondary structure was finally determined by MCD as follows: a triple-strand antiparallel beta sheet with I20-W26, R37-A43 and V53-S59 as its beta strands, a short alpha helix formed by W30-G35 and four turns formed by P7-K1O, C14-G17, K50-V53 and D61-N64.

  18. Structural studies on the zinc-endopeptidase light chain of tetanus neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Filippis, V; Vangelista, L; Schiavo, G; Tonello, F; Montecucco, C

    1995-04-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) blocks neuroexocytosis via a zinc-endopeptidase activity highly specific for vescicle-associated membrane protein(VAMP)/synaptobrevin. TeNT is the prototype of clostridial neurotoxins, a new family of metalloproteinases. They consist of three domains and the proteolytic activity is displayed by the 50-kDa light chain (L chain). The L chain was isolated here in the native state from bacterial filtrates of Clostridium tetani and its structure was studied via circular dichroism (CD) and fluorescence spectroscopy. The secondary structure content (27% alpha-helix and 43% beta-sheet), estimated by far-ultraviolet CD measurements, was in reasonable agreement with that obtained by standard predictive methods (25% alpha-helix and 49% beta-sheet). Moreover, the hypothetical zinc-binding motif, encompassing residues His-Glu-Leu-Ile-His, was correctly predicted to be in alpha-helical conformation, as also expected on the basis of the geometrical requirements for a correct coordination of the zinc ion. Both near-ultraviolet CD and fluorescence data strongly suggest that the single Trp43 residue is buried and constrained in a hydrophobic environment, likely distant from the zinc ion located in the active-site cleft. The contribution of the bound zinc ion to the overall conformation of TeNT L chain was investigated by different and complementary techniques, including spectroscopic (far- and near-ultraviolet CD, fluorescence, second derivative absorption spectroscopy) as well as proteolytic probes. The results indicate that the zinc ion plays little, if any, role in determining the structural properties of the L chain molecule. Similarly, the metal-free apo-enzyme and the holo-protein share common stability features evaluated in respect to different physico-chemical parameters (pH, temperature and urea concentration). These results parallel those obtained on thermolysin, a zinc-dependent neutral endoprotease from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus, where both

  19. Crystallographic characterization of functional sites of crotoxin and ammodytoxin, potent β-neurotoxins from Viperidae venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Grazyna; Saul, Frederick

    2012-09-15

    This review will focus on a description of the three-dimensional structures of two β-neurotoxins, the monomeric PLA(2) ammodytoxin from Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, and heterodimeric crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus, and a detailed structural analysis of their multiple functional sites. We have recently determined at high resolution the crystal structures of two natural isoforms of ammodytoxin (AtxA and AtxC) (Saul et al., 2010) which exhibit different toxicity profiles and different anticoagulant properties. Comparative structural analysis of these two PLA(2) isoforms, which differ only by two amino acid residues, allowed us to detect local conformational changes and delineate the role of critical residues in the anticoagulant and neurotoxic functions of these PLA(2) (Saul et al., 2010). We have also determined, at 1.35Å resolution, the crystal structure of heterodimeric crotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The three-dimensional structure of crotoxin revealed details of the binding interface between its acidic (CA) and basic (CB) subunits and allowed us to identify key residues involved in the stability and toxicity of this potent heterodimeric β-neurotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The precise spatial orientation of the three covalently linked polypeptide chains in the mature CA subunit complexed with CB helps us to understand the role played by critical residues of the CA subunit in the increased toxicity of the crotoxin complex. Since the CA subunit is a natural inhibitor of the catalytic and anticoagulant activities of CB, identification of the CA-CB binding interface describes residues involved in this inhibition. We propose future research directions based on knowledge of the recently reported 3D structures of crotoxin and ammodytoxin. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Neurotoxins from Clostridium botulinum (serotype A) isolated from the soil of Mendoza (Argentina) differ from the A-Hall archetype and from that causing infant botulism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, P; Troncoso, M; Patterson, S I; López Gómez, C; Fernandez, R; Sosa, M A

    2016-10-01

    The type A of neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the prevalent serotype in strains of Mendoza. The soil is the main reservoir for C.botulinum and is possibly one of the infection sources in infant botulism. In this study, we characterized and compared autochthonous C. botulinum strains and their neurotoxins. Bacterial samples were obtained from the soil and from fecal samples collected from children with infant botulism. We first observed differences in the appearance of the colonies between strains from each source and with the A Hall control strain. In addition, purified neurotoxins of both strains were found to be enriched in a band of 300 kDa, whereas the A-Hall strain was mainly made up of a band of ∼600 kDa. This finding is in line with the lack of hemagglutinating activity of the neurotoxins under study. Moreover, the proteolytic activity of C. botulinum neurotoxins was evaluated against SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor) proteins from rat brain. It was observed that both, SNAP 25 (synaptosomal-associated protein 25) and VAMP 2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein) were cleaved by the neurotoxins isolated from the soil strains, whereas the neurotoxins from infant botulism strains only induced a partial cleavage of VAMP 2. On the other hand, the neurotoxin from the A-Hall strain was able to cleave both proteins, though at a lesser extent. Our data indicate that the C.botulinum strain isolated from the soil, and its BoNT, exhibit different properties compared to the strain obtained from infant botulism patients, and from the A-Hall archetype. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Structure-function relationships of curaremimetic neurotoxin loop 2 and of a structurally similar segment of rabies virus glycoprotein in their interaction with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lentz, T.L. (Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States))

    1991-11-12

    Peptides corresponding to portions of curaremimetic neurotoxin loop 2 and to a structurally similar segment of rabies virus glycoprotein were synthetically modified in order to gain information on structure-function relationships of neurotoxin loop 2 interactions with the acetylcholine receptor. Binding of synthetic peptides to the acetylcholine receptor of Torpedo electric organ membranes was assessed by measuring their ability to inhibit the binding of {sup 125}I-{alpha}-bungarotoxin to the receptor. The peptides showing the highest affinity for the receptor were a peptide corresponding to the sequence of loop 2 (residues 25-44) of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) toxin b and the structurally similar segment of CVS rabies virus glycoprotein. These affinities were comparable to those of d-tubocurarine and suberyldicholine. These results demonstrate the importance of loop 2 in the neurotoxin interaction with the receptor. N- and C-terminal deletions of the loop 2 peptides and substitution of residues invariant or highly conserved among neurotoxins were performed in order to determine the role of individual residues in binding. Residues 25-40 are the most crucial in the interaction with the acetylcholine receptor. Since this region of the glycoprotein contains residues corresponding to all of the functionally invariant neurotoxin residues, it may interact with the acetylcholine receptor through a mechanism similar to that of the neurotoxins.

  2. Structural And Biochemical Studies of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype C1 Light Chain Protease: Implications for Dual Substrate Specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, R.; Sikorra, S.; Stegmann, C.M.; Pich, A.; Binz, T.; Brunger, A.T.

    2009-06-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins are the causative agents of the neuroparalytic disease botulism and tetanus. They block neurotransmitter release through specific proteolysis of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive-factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) SNAP-25, syntaxin, and synaptobrevin, which constitute part of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery. The catalytic component of the clostridial neurotoxins is their light chain (LC), a Zn2+ endopeptidase. There are seven structurally and functionally related botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), termed serotype A to G, and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT). Each of them exhibits unique specificity for their target SNAREs and peptide bond(s) they cleave. The mechanisms of action for substrate recognition and target cleavage are largely unknown. Here, we report structural and biochemical studies of BoNT/C1-LC, which is unique among BoNTs in that it exhibits dual specificity toward both syntaxin and SNAP-25. A distinct pocket (S1') near the active site likely achieves the correct register for the cleavage site by only allowing Ala as the P1' residue for both SNAP-25 and syntaxin. Mutations of this SNAP-25 residue dramatically reduce enzymatic activity. The remote a-exosite that was previously identified in the complex of BoNT/A-LC and SNAP-25 is structurally conserved in BoNT/C1. However, mutagenesis experiments show that the a-exosite of BoNT/C1 plays a less stringent role in substrate discrimination in comparison to that of BoNT/A, which could account for its dual substrate specificity.

  3. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.; Hendriksen, P.J.M.; de Haan,; Koning, R.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Bovee, T.F.H.

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on either the Na+, K+, or Ca2+ channels or the Na+/K+ ATP-ase pump, on the beating was assessed. Diphenhydramine, veratridine, isradipine, verapamil and ouabain induced specific beating arrests that ...

  4. Effects of algal-produced neurotoxins on metabolic activity in telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakke, Marit Jorgensen [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway); Horsberg, Tor Einar [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway)], E-mail: tor.e.horsberg@veths.no

    2007-11-30

    Neurotoxins from algal blooms have been reported to cause mortality in a variety of species, including sea birds, sea mammals and fish. Farmed fish cannot escape harmful algal blooms and their potential toxins, thus they are more vulnerable for exposure than wild stocks. Sublethal doses of the toxins are likely to affect fish behaviour and may impair cognitive abilities. In the present study, changes in the metabolic activity in different parts of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) brain involved in central integration and cognition were investigated after exposure to sublethal doses of three algal-produced neurotoxins; saxitoxin (STX), brevetoxin (BTX) and domoic acid (DA). Fish were randomly selected to four groups for i.p. injection of saline (control) or one of the neurotoxins STX (10 {mu}g STX/kg bw), BTX (68 {mu}g BTX/kg bw) or DA (6 mg DA/kg bw). In addition, {sup 14}C-2-deoxyglucose was i.m. injected to measure brain metabolic activity by autoradiography. The three regions investigated were telencephalon (Tel), optic tectum (OT) and cerebellum (Ce). There were no differences in the metabolic activity after STX and BTX exposure compared to the control in these regions. However, a clear increase was observed after DA exposure. When the subregions with the highest metabolic rate were pseudocoloured in the three brain regions, the three toxins caused distinct differences in the respective patterns of metabolic activation. Fish exposed to STX displayed similar patterns as the control fish, whereas fish exposed to BTX and DA showed highest metabolic activity in subregions different from the control group. All three neurotoxins affected subregions that are believed to be involved in cognitive abilities in fish.

  5. Augmentation of VAMP-catalytic activity of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B does not result in increased potency in physiological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Mark; Maignel, Jacquie; Liu, Sai Man; Favre-Guilmard, Christine; Mir, Imran; Farrow, Paul; Hornby, Fraser; Marlin, Sandra; Palan, Shilpa; Beard, Matthew; Krupp, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are used extensively as therapeutic agents. Serotypes A and B are available as marketed products. Higher doses of BoNT/B are required to reach an efficacy similar to that of products containing BoNT/A. Advances in our understanding of BoNT/B mechanism of action have afforded the opportunity to make rational modifications to the toxin aimed at increasing its activity. Recently, a mutation in the light chain of BoNT/B (S201P) was described that increases the catalytic activity of the isolated BoNT/B light chain in biochemical assays. In this study, we have produced two full-length recombinant BoNT/B toxins in E.coli-one wild type (rBoNT/B1) and one incorporating the S201P mutation (rBoNT/B1(S201P)). We have compared the activity of these two molecules along with a native BoNT/B1 in biochemical cell-free assays and in several biological systems. In the cell-free assay, which measured light-chain activity alone, rBoNT/B1(S201P) cleaved VAMP-2 and VAMP-1 substrate with an activity 3-4-fold higher than rBoNT/B1. However, despite the enhanced catalytic activity of rBoNT/B1(S201P), there was no significant difference in potency between the two molecules in any of the in vitro cell-based assays, using either rodent spinal cord neurons or cortical neurons. Similarly in ex vivo tissue preparations rBoNT/B1(S201P) was not significantly more potent than rBoNT/B1 at inhibiting either diaphragm or detrusor (bladder) muscle activity in C57BL/6N and CD1 mice. Finally, no differences between rBoNT/B1 and rBoNT/B1(S201P) were observed in an in vivo digit abduction score (DAS) assay in C57BL/6N mice, either in efficacy or safety parameters. The lack of translation from the enhanced BoNT/B1(S201P) catalytic activity to potency in complex biological systems suggests that the catalytic step is not the rate-limiting factor for BoNT/B to reach maximum efficacy. In order to augment the efficacy of BoNT/B in humans, strategies other than enhancing light chain

  6. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Hendriksen, Peter J M; de Haan, Laura H J; Koning, Rosella; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Bovee, Toine F H

    2015-03-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on either the Na(+), K(+), or Ca(2+) channels or the Na(+)/K(+) ATP-ase pump, on the beating was assessed. Diphenhydramine, veratridine, isradipine, verapamil and ouabain induced specific beating arrests that were reversible and none of the concentrations tested induced cytotoxicity. Three K(+) channel blockers, amiodarone, clofilium and sematilide, and the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase pump inhibitor digoxin had no specific effect on the beating. In addition, two marine neurotoxins i.e. saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin elicited specific beating arrests in cardiomyocytes. Comparison of the results obtained with cardiomyocytes to those obtained with the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay revealed that the cardiomyocytes were generally somewhat more sensitive for the model compounds affecting Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels, but less sensitive for the compounds affecting K(+) channels. The stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were not as sensitive as the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay for saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin. It is concluded that the murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes provide a sensitive model for detection of specific neurotoxins and that the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay may be a more promising cell-based assay for the screening of marine biotoxins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Impedimetric immunosensor for the label-free and direct detection of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A using Au nanoparticles/graphene-chitosan composite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afkhami, Abbas; Hashemi, Pegah; Bagheri, Hasan; Salimian, Jafar; Ahmadi, Ali; Madrakian, Tayyebeh

    2017-07-15

    In this work, a novel nanocomposite film consisting of the Au nanoparticles/graphene-chitosan has been designed to construct an impedimetric immunosensor for a rapid and sensitive immunoassay of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A). BoNT/A antibody was immobilized on glassy carbon electrode modified with Au nanoparticles/graphene-chitosan for the signal amplification. The fabrication of immunosensor was extensively characterized by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The impedance changes, due to the specific immuno-interactions at the immunosensor surface that efficiently restricted the electron transfer of redox probe Fe(CN) 6 4-/3- were utilized to detect BoNT/A. The measurements were highly targeted specific and linear with logarithmic BoNT/A concentrations in PBS, milk and human serum across a 0.27-268pgmL -1 range and associated with a detection limit of 0.11pgmL -1 . Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Sensitive Detection and Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Luisa W; Henderson, Thomas D; Lam, Tina I; Stanker, Larry H

    2015-11-27

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are some of nature's most potent toxins. Due to potential food contamination, and bioterrorism concerns, the development of detection reagents, therapeutics and countermeasures are of urgent interest. Recently, we have developed a sensitive electrochemiluminescent (ECL) immunoassay for BoNT/B, using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) MCS6-27 and anti-BoNT/B rabbit polyclonal antibodies as the capture and detector. The ECL assay detected as little as 1 pg/mL BoNT/B in the buffer matrix, surpassing the detection sensitivities of the gold standard mouse bioassays. The ECL assay also allowed detection of BoNT/B in sera matrices of up to 100% sera with negligible matrix effects. This highly-sensitive assay allowed the determination of the biological half-lives of BoNT/B holotoxin in vivo. We further tested the toxin neutralization potential of our monoclonal antibodies using the mouse systemic and oral intoxication models. A combination of mAbs protected mice in both pre- and post-exposure models to lethal doses of BoNT/B. MAbs were capable of increasing survival of animals when administered even 10 h post-intoxication in an oral model, suggesting a likely time for BoNT/B complexes to reach the blood stream. More sensitive detection assays and treatments against BoNT intoxication will greatly enhance efforts to combat botulism.

  9. Implementing the Bruker MALDI Biotyper in the Public Health Laboratory for C. botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Perry

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the gold standard method for active botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT detection is the mouse bioassay (MBA. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-developed mass spectrometry (MS-based assay that detects active BoNT was successfully validated and implemented in a public health laboratory in clinical matrices using the Bruker MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry Biotyper. For the first time, a direct comparison with the MBA was performed to determine MS-based assay sensitivity using the Bruker MALDI Biotyper. Mice were injected with BoNT/A, /B, /E, and /F at concentrations surrounding the established MS assay limit of detection (LOD and analyzed simultaneously. For BoNT/B, /E, and /F, MS assay sensitivity was equivalent or better than the MBA at 25, 0.3, and 8.8 mLD50, respectively. BoNT/A was detected by the MBA between 1.8 and 18 mLD50, somewhat more sensitive than the MS method of 18 mLD50. Studies were performed to compare assay performance in clinical specimens. For all tested specimens, the MS method rapidly detected BoNT activity and serotype in agreement with, or in the absence of, results from the MBA. We demonstrate that the MS assay can generate reliable, rapid results while eliminating the need for animal testing.

  10. Probiotic Microorganisms Inhibit Epithelial Cell Internalization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina I. Lam

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal epithelia to disseminate in the blood. The timing of BoNT/A toxin internalization was shown to be comparable in both the Caco-2 in vitro cell culture and in the oral mouse intoxication models. Probiotic microorganisms have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects in not only maintaining the normal gut mucosa but also protection from allergens, pathogens, and toxins. In this study, we evaluate whether probiotic microorganisms will block BoNT/A uptake in the in vitro cell culture system using Caco-2 cells. Several probiotics tested (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, and Lactobacillus reuteri blocked BoNT/A uptake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a non-probiotic strain of Escherichia coli did not. We also showed that inhibition of BoNT/A uptake was not due to the degradation of BoNT/A nor by sequestration of toxin via binding to probiotics. These results show for the first time that probiotic treatment can inhibit BoNT/A binding and internalization in vitro and may lead to the development of new therapies.

  11. Effect of botulinum neurotoxin treatment in the lateral spread monitoring of microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habeych, Miguel E; Shah, Aalap C; Nikonow, Tara N; Balzer, Jeffrey R; Crammond, Donald J; Thirumala, Parthasarathy D; Kassam, Amin; Horowitz, Michael

    2011-10-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BtNtx) treatment for hemifacial spasm (HFS) prior to microvascular decompression (MVD) is hypothesized to be a factor in the variability of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) during this procedure. We analyzed 282 MVDs performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2007. We retrospectively compared the lateral spread response (LSR) in the mentalis muscle when stimulus-triggered electromyography (EMG) was elicited from the facial nerve. Previous BtNtx treatment was the grouping factor. Baseline LSR amplitudes during MVD (prior BtNtx: mean = 341.47 μV; no BtNtx: mean = 241.81 μV) were significantly different between groups (df = 1,281; t = -2.463; P = 0.014). Comparisons of latency and current threshold at baseline, as well as HFS disappearance or LSR persistence after the procedure, did not achieve statistical significance. HFS patients treated with BtNtx prior to MVD demonstrated higher LSR baseline amplitudes during IONM. This could be related to muscle poly-reinnervation after recovery from repeated BtNtx use. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. The destructive effect of botulinum neurotoxins on the SNARE protein: SNAP-25 and synaptic membrane fusion

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    Bin Lu

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic exocytosis requires the assembly of syntaxin 1A and SNAP-25 on the plasma membrane and synaptobrevin 2 (VAMP2 on the vesicular membrane to bridge the two opposite membranes. It is believed that the three SNARE proteins assemble in steps along the dynamic assembly pathway. The C-terminus of SNAP-25 is known to be the target of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A and BoNT/E that block neurotransmitters release in vivo. In this study, we employed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy to investigate the conformation of the SNAP-25 C-terminus in binary and ternary SNARE complexes. The fluorescence lipid mixing assay shows that the C-terminal of SNAP-25 is essential for membrane fusion, and that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants cleaved by BoNT/A and BoNT/E display different inhibition effects on membrane fusion: SNAP-25E (Δ26 abolishes the fusion activity of the SNARE complex, while SNAP-25A (Δ9 loses most of its function, although it can still form a SDS-resistant SNARE complex as the wild-type SNAP-25. CW-EPR spectra validate the unstable structures of the SNARE complex formed by SNAP-25 mutants. We propose that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants will disrupt the assembly of the SNARE core complex, and then inhibit the synaptic membrane fusion accordingly.

  13. Iterative structure-based peptide-like inhibitor design against the botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

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    Jorge E Zuniga

    Full Text Available The botulinum neurotoxin serotype A light chain (BoNT/A LC protease is the catalytic component responsible for the neuroparalysis that is characteristic of the disease state botulism. Three related peptide-like molecules (PLMs were designed using previous information from co-crystal structures, synthesized, and assayed for in vitro inhibition against BoNT/A LC. Our results indicate these PLMS are competitive inhibitors of the BoNT/A LC protease and their K(i values are in the nM-range. A co-crystal structure for one of these inhibitors was determined and reveals that the PLM, in accord with the goals of our design strategy, simultaneously involves both ionic interactions via its P1 residue and hydrophobic contacts by means of an aromatic group in the P2' position. The PLM adopts a helical conformation similar to previously determined co-crystal structures of PLMs, although there are also major differences to these other structures such as contacts with specific BoNT/A LC residues. Our structure further demonstrates the remarkable plasticity of the substrate binding cleft of the BoNT/A LC protease and provides a paradigm for iterative structure-based design and development of BoNT/A LC inhibitors.

  14. Re-Assembled Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibits CNS Functions without Systemic Toxicity

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    Bazbek Davletov

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The therapeutic potential of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A has recently been widely recognized. BoNT/A acts to silence synaptic transmission via specific proteolytic cleavage of an essential neuronal protein, SNAP25. The advantages of BoNT/A-mediated synaptic silencing include very long duration, high potency and localized action. However, there is a fear of possible side-effects of BoNT/A due to its diffusible nature which may lead to neuromuscular blockade away from the injection site. We recently developed a “protein-stapling” technology which allows re-assembly of BoNT/A from two separate fragments. This technology allowed, for the first time, safe production of this popular neuronal silencing agent. Here we evaluated the re-assembled toxin in several CNS assays and assessed its systemic effects in an animal model. Our results show that the re-assembled toxin is potent in inhibiting CNS function at 1 nM concentration but surprisingly does not exhibit systemic toxicity after intraperitoneal injection even at 200 ng/kg dose. This shows that the re-assembled toxin represents a uniquely safe tool for neuroscience research and future medical applications.

  15. Basis Tetrapeptides as Potent Intracellular Inhibitors of type A Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Activity

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    Hale, M.; Swaminathan, S.; Oyler, G.; Ahmed, S. A.

    2011-01-21

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent of all toxins that cause flaccid muscle paralysis leading to death. They are also potential biothreat agents. A systematic investigation of various short peptide inhibitors of the BoNT protease domain with a 17-residue peptide substrate led to arginine-arginine-glycine-cysteine having a basic tetrapeptide structure as the most potent inhibitor. When assayed in the presence of dithiothreitol (DTT), the inhibitory effect was drastically reduced. Replacing the terminal cysteine with one hydrophobic residue eliminated the DTT effect but with two hydrophobic residues made the pentapeptide a poor inhibitor. Replacing the first arginine with cysteine or adding an additional cysteine at the N terminus did not improve inhibition. When assessed using mouse brain lysates, the tetrapeptides also inhibited BoNT/A cleavage of the endogenous SNAP-25. The peptides penetrated the neuronal cell lines, N2A and BE(2)-M17, without adversely affecting metabolic functions as measured by ATP production and P-38 phosphorylation. Biological activity of the peptides persisted within cultured chick motor neurons and rat and mouse cerebellar neurons for more than 40 h and inhibited BoNT/A protease action inside the neurons in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Our results define a tetrapeptide as the smallest peptide inhibitor in the backdrop of a large substrate protein of 200+ amino acids having multiple interaction regions with its cognate enzyme. The inhibitors should also be valuable candidates for drug development.

  16. Biodistribution and Lymphatic Tracking of the Main Neurotoxin of Micrurus fulvius Venom by Molecular Imaging

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    Irene Vergara

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The venom of the Eastern coral snake Micrurus fulvius can cause respiratory paralysis in the bitten patient, which is attributable to β-neurotoxins (β-NTx. The aim of this work was to study the biodistribution and lymphatic tracking by molecular imaging of the main β-NTx of M. fulvius venom. β-NTx was bioconjugated with the chelator diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid (DTPA and radiolabeled with the radionuclide Gallium-67. Radiolabeling efficiency was 60%–78%; radiochemical purity ≥92%; and stability at 48 h ≥ 85%. The median lethal dose (LD50 and PLA2 activity of bioconjugated β-NTx decreased 3 and 2.5 times, respectively, in comparison with native β-NTx. The immune recognition by polyclonal antibodies decreased 10 times. Biodistribution of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga in rats showed increased uptake in popliteal, lumbar nodes and kidneys that was not observed with 67Ga-free. Accumulation in organs at 24 h was less than 1%, except for kidneys, where the average was 3.7%. The inoculation site works as a depot, since 10% of the initial dose of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga remains there for up to 48 h. This work clearly demonstrates the lymphatic system participation in the biodistribution of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga. Our approach could be applied to analyze the role of the lymphatic system in snakebite for a better understanding of envenoming.

  17. Neuroprotection by freshwater clam extract against the neurotoxin MPTP in C57BL/6 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Cho-Chen; Lin, Muh-Shi; Hua, Kuo-Feng; Chen, Wei-Jung; Lin, Chai-Ching

    2017-03-06

    Freshwater clams are a popular health food in Asia and are traditionally used to prevent hepatic inflammation. Freshwater clam extract (FCE) inhibits inflammatory responses in activated macrophages by reducing the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells. In this study, we used a mouse model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropypridine (MPTP; a neurotoxin)-induced Parkinson's disease (PD) to demonstrate the protective effect of FCE on dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Locomotor behavior and tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemical staining indicated that FCE significantly inhibited MPTP-induced dopaminergic cell loss in the SNpc. Glial fibrillary acidic protein immunohistochemistry and quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that astroglial activation and tumor necrosis factor alpha, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and interleukin 1 beta production were significantly inhibited by FCE. The expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and nerve growth factor were markedly increased by FCE action against MPTP-induced toxicity. FCE showed a neuroprotective effect in a MPTP-induced PD model, which might be correlated with anti-inflammation and the stimulation of neurotrophic factors. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. SLEEPLESS, a Ly-6/neurotoxin family member, regulates the levels, localization and activity of Shaker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Mark N; Joiner, William J; Dean, Terry; Yue, Zhifeng; Smith, Corinne J; Chen, Dechun; Hoshi, Toshinori; Sehgal, Amita; Koh, Kyunghee

    2010-01-01

    Sleep is a whole-organism phenomenon accompanied by global changes in neural activity. We previously identified SLEEPLESS (SSS) as a glycosylphosphatidyl inositol-anchored protein required for sleep in Drosophila. Here we found that SSS is critical for regulating the sleep-modulating potassium channel Shaker. SSS and Shaker shared similar expression patterns in the brain and specifically affected each other's expression levels. sleepless (sss) loss-of-function mutants exhibited altered Shaker localization, reduced Shaker current density and slower Shaker current kinetics. Transgenic expression of sss in sss mutants rescued defects in Shaker expression and activity cell-autonomously and suggested that SSS functions in wake-promoting, cholinergic neurons. In heterologous cells, SSS accelerated the kinetics of Shaker currents and was co-immunoprecipitated with Shaker, suggesting that SSS modulates Shaker activity via a direct interaction. SSS is predicted to belong to the Ly-6/neurotoxin superfamily, suggesting a mechanism for regulation of neuronal excitability by endogenous toxin-like molecules.

  19. The destructive effect of botulinum neurotoxins on the SNARE protein: SNAP-25 and synaptic membrane fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic exocytosis requires the assembly of syntaxin 1A and SNAP-25 on the plasma membrane and synaptobrevin 2 (VAMP2) on the vesicular membrane to bridge the two opposite membranes. It is believed that the three SNARE proteins assemble in steps along the dynamic assembly pathway. The C-terminus of SNAP-25 is known to be the target of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A and BoNT/E) that block neurotransmitters release in vivo. In this study, we employed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to investigate the conformation of the SNAP-25 C-terminus in binary and ternary SNARE complexes. The fluorescence lipid mixing assay shows that the C-terminal of SNAP-25 is essential for membrane fusion, and that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants cleaved by BoNT/A and BoNT/E display different inhibition effects on membrane fusion: SNAP-25E (Δ26) abolishes the fusion activity of the SNARE complex, while SNAP-25A (Δ9) loses most of its function, although it can still form a SDS-resistant SNARE complex as the wild-type SNAP-25. CW-EPR spectra validate the unstable structures of the SNARE complex formed by SNAP-25 mutants. We propose that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants will disrupt the assembly of the SNARE core complex, and then inhibit the synaptic membrane fusion accordingly.

  20. In vitro detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxin type E activity in avian blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Timothy M.; Blehert, David S.; Dunning, F. Mark; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Zeytin, Fusun N.; Samuel, Michael D.; Tucker, Ward C.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) outbreaks in the Great Lakes region cause large annual avian mortality events, with an estimated 17,000 bird deaths reported in 2007 alone. During an outbreak investigation, blood collected from bird carcasses is tested for the presence of BoNT/E using the mouse lethality assay. While sensitive, this method is labor-intensive and low throughput and can take up to 7 days to complete. We developed a rapid and sensitive in vitro assay, the BoTest Matrix E assay, that combines immunoprecipitation with high-affinity endopeptidase activity detection by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to rapidly quantify BoNT/E activity in avian blood with detection limits comparable to those of the mouse lethality assay. On the basis of the analysis of archived blood samples (n = 87) collected from bird carcasses during avian mortality investigations, BoTest Matrix E detected picomolar quantities of BoNT/E following a 2-h incubation and femtomolar quantities of BoNT/E following extended incubation (24 h) with 100% diagnostic specificity and 91% diagnostic sensitivity.

  1. Botulinum neurotoxin D uses synaptic vesicle protein SV2 and gangliosides as receptors.

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    Lisheng Peng

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs include seven bacterial toxins (BoNT/A-G that target presynaptic terminals and act as proteases cleaving proteins required for synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Here we identified synaptic vesicle protein SV2 as the protein receptor for BoNT/D. BoNT/D enters cultured hippocampal neurons via synaptic vesicle recycling and can bind SV2 in brain detergent extracts. BoNT/D failed to bind and enter neurons lacking SV2, which can be rescued by expressing one of the three SV2 isoforms (SV2A/B/C. Localization of SV2 on plasma membranes mediated BoNT/D binding in both neurons and HEK293 cells. Furthermore, chimeric receptors containing the binding sites for BoNT/A and E, two other BoNTs that use SV2 as receptors, failed to mediate the entry of BoNT/D suggesting that BoNT/D binds SV2 via a mechanism distinct from BoNT/A and E. Finally, we demonstrated that gangliosides are essential for the binding and entry of BoNT/D into neurons and for its toxicity in vivo, supporting a double-receptor model for this toxin.

  2. Lab-on-a-chip for botulinum neurotoxin a (BoNT-A) activity analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Steven; Ossandon, Miguel; Kostov, Yordan; Rasooly, Avraham

    2009-11-21

    A Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) was designed, fabricated and tested for the in vitro detection of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT-A) activity using an assay that measures cleavage of a fluorophore-tagged peptide substrate specific for BoNT-A (SNAP-25) by the toxin light chain (LcA). LcA cleavage was detected by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) fluorescence. FRET fluorescence was measured by a newly developed portable charge-coupled device (CCD) fluorescent detector equipped with multi-wavelength light-emitting diodes (LED) illumination. An eight V-junction microchannel device for BoNTs activity assays was constructed using Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) technology. The six-layer device was fabricated with a Poly(methyl methacrylate (PMMA) core and five polycarbonate (PC) layers micromachined by CO2 laser. The LOC is operated by syringe and is equipped with reagents, sample wells, reaction wells, diffusion traps (to avoid cross contamination among channels) and waste reservoirs. The system was detected LcA at concentrations as low as 0.5 nM, which is the reported sensitivity of the SNAP-25 in vitro cleavage assay. Combined with our CCD detector, the simple point of care system enables the detection of BoNTs activity and may be useful for the performance of other complex medical assays without a laboratory. This approach may realize the potential to enhance the quality of health care delivery for underserved populations.

  3. In Vitro Detection and Quantification of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E Activity in Avian Blood▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Timothy M.; Blehert, David S.; Dunning, F. Mark; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Zeytin, Füsûn N.; Samuel, Michael D.; Tucker, Ward C.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) outbreaks in the Great Lakes region cause large annual avian mortality events, with an estimated 17,000 bird deaths reported in 2007 alone. During an outbreak investigation, blood collected from bird carcasses is tested for the presence of BoNT/E using the mouse lethality assay. While sensitive, this method is labor-intensive and low throughput and can take up to 7 days to complete. We developed a rapid and sensitive in vitro assay, the BoTest Matrix E assay, that combines immunoprecipitation with high-affinity endopeptidase activity detection by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to rapidly quantify BoNT/E activity in avian blood with detection limits comparable to those of the mouse lethality assay. On the basis of the analysis of archived blood samples (n = 87) collected from bird carcasses during avian mortality investigations, BoTest Matrix E detected picomolar quantities of BoNT/E following a 2-h incubation and femtomolar quantities of BoNT/E following extended incubation (24 h) with 100% diagnostic specificity and 91% diagnostic sensitivity. PMID:21908624

  4. Effects on craniofacial growth and development of unilateral botulinum neurotoxin injection into the masseter muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Chi-Yang; Chiu, Wan Chi; Liao, Yi-Hsuan; Tsai, Chih-Mong

    2009-02-01

    The effects of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) on masseter muscles, when injected for cosmetic purposes (volumetric reduction) or treatment of excessive muscle activity (bruxism), have been investigated. However, the full anatomic effects of treatment are not known, particularly with respect to the mandible and relevant anthropometric measurements. The intent of this study was to use unilaterial BoNT/A injections to induce localized masseter atrophy and paresis and then to measure the effects of muscle influence on craniofacial growth and development. Growing male Wistar rats, 30 days old, were studied. The experimental group consisted of 8 rats. One side of the masseter muscle was injected with BoNT/A and the other side of the masseter muscle was injected with saline. The side with BoNT/A belonged to 1 group and the side with saline was the sham group. Three rats without injections was the control. After 45 days, the masseter muscles were dissected and weighed. Dry skulls were prepared, and anthropometric measurements determined. One-way ANOVA showed that the animals maintained their weight in both groups; however, the muscles injected with BoNT/A were smaller than the sham or control muscles. Anthropometric measurements of the bony structures attached to the masseter muscle showed a significant treatment effect. After localized masseter muscle atrophy induced by BoNT/A injection, alterations of craniofacial bone growth and development were seen. The results agree with the functional matrix theory that soft tissues regulate bone growth.

  5. High-Throughput Multiplex Flow Cytometry Screening for Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A Light Chain Protease Inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Given their medical importance, proteases have been studied by diverse approaches and screened for small molecule protease inhibitors. Here, we present a multiplexed microsphere-based protease assay that uses high-throughput flow cytometry to screen for inhibitors of the light chain protease of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNTALC). Our assay uses a full-length substrate and several deletion mutants screened in parallel to identify small molecule inhibitors. The use of multiplex flow cytometry has the advantage of using full-length substrates, which contain already identified distal-binding elements for the BoNTALC, and could lead to a new class of BoNTALC inhibitors. In this study, we have screened 880 off patent drugs and bioavailable compounds to identify ebselen as an in vitro inhibitor of BoNTALC. This discovery demonstrates the validity of our microsphere-based approach and illustrates its potential for high-throughput screening for inhibitors of proteases in general. PMID:20035615

  6. Re-Assembled Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibits CNS Functions without Systemic Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Enrico; Maywood, Elizabeth S.; Restani, Laura; Caleo, Matteo; Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella; Hastings, Michael H.; Niranjan, Dhevahi; Schiavo, Giampietro; Davletov, Bazbek

    2011-01-01

    The therapeutic potential of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) has recently been widely recognized. BoNT/A acts to silence synaptic transmission via specific proteolytic cleavage of an essential neuronal protein, SNAP25. The advantages of BoNT/A-mediated synaptic silencing include very long duration, high potency and localized action. However, there is a fear of possible side-effects of BoNT/A due to its diffusible nature which may lead to neuromuscular blockade away from the injection site. We recently developed a “protein-stapling” technology which allows re-assembly of BoNT/A from two separate fragments. This technology allowed, for the first time, safe production of this popular neuronal silencing agent. Here we evaluated the re-assembled toxin in several CNS assays and assessed its systemic effects in an animal model. Our results show that the re-assembled toxin is potent in inhibiting CNS function at 1 nM concentration but surprisingly does not exhibit systemic toxicity after intraperitoneal injection even at 200 ng/kg dose. This shows that the re-assembled toxin represents a uniquely safe tool for neuroscience research and future medical applications. PMID:22069712

  7. Disulfide isomers of alpha-neurotoxins from King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, S R; Chang, L S; Chang, C C

    1999-01-08

    Two novel alpha-neurotoxins, Oh-6A and Oh-6B, isolated from the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom, consist of 70 amino acid residues with 10 cysteine residues and share the same amino acid sequences as determined by Edman degradation on the peptide fragments generated from the proteolytic hydrolysates. Their sequences share 46-53% homology with Oh-4, Oh-5, Toxin a, and Toxin b from the same venom. The finding that Oh-6A and Oh-6B had different retention times in the reversed-phase column suggested that the two toxin molecules should not have the same conformation. Selective reduction on the disulfide bond, Cys26--Cys30, at the tip of their loop II structures resulted in the production of the partially reduced derivatives eluted at the same position. Under redox conditions, the partially reduced Oh-6A and 6B exclusively converted into native Oh-6A as evidenced by HPLC analyses. This suggests that Oh-6A and Oh-6B are disulfide isomers which probably arise from cis-trans isomerization of the Cys26--Cys30 disulfide bond. Alternatively, the two toxins exhibited binding activity toward nAChR and lethal toxicity equally. It reflects that the diversity around the extra loop at the loop II structure does not exert a significant effect on the manifestation of the neurotoxicity of Oh-6A and Oh-6B. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype D attacks neurons via two carbohydrate-binding sites in a ganglioside-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strotmeier, Jasmin; Lee, Kwangkook; Völker, Anne K; Mahrhold, Stefan; Zong, Yinong; Zeiser, Johannes; Zhou, Jie; Pich, Andreas; Bigalke, Hans; Binz, Thomas; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2010-10-15

    The extraordinarily high toxicity of botulinum neurotoxins primarily results from their specific binding and uptake into neurons. At motor neurons, the seven BoNT (botulinum neurotoxin) serotypes A-G inhibit acetylcholine release leading to flaccid paralysis. Uptake of BoNT/A, B, E, F and G requires a dual interaction with gangliosides and the synaptic vesicle proteins synaptotagmin or SV2 (synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2), whereas little is known about the cell entry mechanisms of the serotypes C and D, which display the lowest amino acid sequence identity compared with the other five serotypes. In the present study we demonstrate that the neurotoxicity of BoNT/D depends on the presence of gangliosides by employing phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm preparations derived from mice expressing the gangliosides GM3, GM2, GM1 and GD1a, or only GM3 [a description of our use of ganglioside nomenclature is given in Svennerholm (1994) Prog. Brain Res. 101, XI-XIV]. High-resolution crystal structures of the 50 kDa cell-binding domain of BoNT/D alone and in complex with sialic acid, as well as biological analyses of single-site BoNT/D mutants identified two carbohydrate-binding sites. One site is located at a position previously identified in BoNT/A, B, E, F and G, but is lacking the conserved SXWY motif. The other site, co-ordinating one molecule of sialic acid, resembles the second ganglioside-binding pocket (the sialic-acid-binding site) of TeNT (tetanus neurotoxin).

  9. Predicting Improvement in Writer's Cramp Symptoms following Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection Therapy

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    Mallory Jackman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Writer's cramp is a specific focal hand dystonia causing abnormal posturing and tremor in the upper limb. The most popular medical intervention, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A therapy, is variably effective for 50–70% of patients. BoNT-A non-responders undergo ineffective treatment and may experience significant side effects. Various assessments have been used to determine response prediction to BoNT-A, but not in the same population of patients. Methods: A comprehensive assessment was employed to measure various symptom aspects. Clinical scales, full upper-limb kinematic measures, self-report, and task performance measures were assessed for nine writer's cramp patients at baseline. Patients received two BoNT-A injections then were classified as responders or non-responders based on a quantified self-report measure. Baseline scores were compared between groups, across all measures, to determine which scores predicted a positive BoNT-A response. Results: Five of nine patients were responders. No kinematic measures were predictably different between groups. Analyses revealed three features that predicted a favorable response and separated the two groups: higher than average cramp severity and cramp frequency, and below average cramp latency. Discussion: Non-kinematic measures appear to be superior in making such predictions. Specifically, measures of cramp severity, frequency, and latency during performance of a specific set of writing and drawing tasks were predictive factors. Since kinematic was not used to determine the injection pattern and the injections were visually guided, it may still be possible to use individual patient kinematics for better outcomes. 

  10. Neurotoxin gene profiling of clostridium botulinum types C and D native to different countries within Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woudstra, Cedric; Skarin, Hanna; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Fenicia, Lucia; Bano, Luca; Drigo, Ilenia; Koene, Miriam; Bäyon-Auboyer, Marie-Hélène; Buffereau, Jean-Philippe; De Medici, Dario; Fach, Patrick

    2012-05-01

    Clostridium botulinum types C and D, as well as their mosaic variants C-D and D-C, are associated with avian and mammalian botulism. This study reports on the development of low-density macroarrays based on the GeneDisc cycler platform (Pall-GeneDisc Technologies) applied to the simultaneous detection of the C. botulinum subtypes C, C-D, D, and D-C. The limit of detection of the PCR assays was 38 fg of total DNA, corresponding to 15 genome copies. Artificially contaminated samples of cecum showed a limit of detection below 50 spores/g. The tests were performed with a large variety of bacterial strains, including C. botulinum types C (n = 12), C-D (n = 29), D (n = 5), and D-C (n = 10), other botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT)-producing Clostridium strains (n = 20), non-BoNT-producing clostridia (n = 20), and other bacterial species (n = 23), and showed a high specificity. These PCR assays were compared to previously published real-time PCRs for the detection of C. botulinum in 292 samples collected from cases of botulism events in four European regions. The majority of the samples originated from wild birds (n = 108), poultry (n = 60), and bovines (n = 56). Among the 292 samples, 144 were positive for either the bont/C-D or the bont/D-C gene by using the GeneDisc arrays. The reliability of the results tallied to 97.94%. Interestingly, only BoNT mosaics, types C-D and D-C, were found in naturally contaminated samples whatever their animal origin and their geographical location. Further investigations should now be performed in order to check that mosaic types dominate in Europe and that acquisition of mosaic types helps in survival or adaptation to particular niche.

  11. Rapid product analysis and increased sensitivity for quantitative determinations of botulinum neurotoxin proteolytic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Benjamin; Schmidt, James J; Smith, Leonard A; Ahmed, S Ashraf

    2010-01-15

    The ultimate molecular action of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a Zn-dependent endoproteolytic activity on one of the three SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) proteins. There are seven serotypes (A-G) of BoNT having distinct cleavage sites on the SNARE substrates. The proteolytic activity is located on the N-terminal light chain (Lc) domain and is used extensively as the primary target toward therapeutic development against botulism. Here we describe an improved method using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) whereby quantitative data were obtained in 1/10th the time using 1/20th the sample and solvent volumes compared with a widely used high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. We also synthesized a VAMP (vesicle-associated membrane protein)-based peptide containing an intact V1 motif that was efficiently used as a substrate by BoNT/D Lc. Although serotype C1 cleaves the serotype A substrate at a bond separated by only one residue, we were able to distinguish the two reactions by UPLC. The new method can accurately quantify as low as 7 pmol of the peptide substrates for BoNT serotypes A, B, C1, and D. We also report here that the catalytic efficiency of serotype A can be stimulated 35-fold by the addition of Triton X-100 to the reaction mixture. Combining the use of Triton X-100 with the newly introduced UPLC method, we were able to accurately detect very low levels of proteolytic activity in a very short time. Sensitivity of the assay and accuracy and rapidity of product analysis should greatly augment efforts in therapeutic development.

  12. Three-dimensional structure of a protein from scorpion venom: a new structural class of neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontecilla-Camps, J C; Almassy, R J; Suddath, F L; Watt, D D; Bugg, C E

    1980-11-01

    The three-dimensional crystal structure of variant-3 toxin from the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing has been determined at 3 A resolution. Phases were obtained by use of K2PtCl4 and K2IrCl6 derivatives. The most prominent secondary structural features are two and a half turns of alpha-helix and a three-strand stretch of antiparallel beta-sheet, which runs parallel to the alpha-helix. The helix is connected to the middle strand of the beta-sheet by two disulfide bridges; a third disulfide bridge is located nearby. Several loops extend out of this dense core of secondary structure. The largest loop is joined to the COOH terminus of the molecule by the fourth disulfide bridge. The overall shape of the molecule resembles a right-hand fist: the alpha-helix runs along the knuckles of the fist; the beta-sheet lies along the second and third joints of the fingers; the thumb is defined by two short loops that are composed of residues 16-21 and residues 41-46; the wrist corresponds to the COOH-terminal stretch of residues 52-65 and a loop composed of residues 5-14; and the second joint of the little finger is near the NH2 terminus of the molecule. The alpha-carbon backbone displays a large flat surface that lies along the second joints of the fingers and the heel of the hand in the fist model. Several of the conserved residues in the scorpion neurotoxins are clustered on this surface, which may play a role in interactions of scorpion toxins with sodium channels of excitable membranes.

  13. Neurotoxin from Naja naja atra venom inhibits skin allograft rejection in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yin-Li; Kou, Jian-Qun; Wang, Shu-Zhi; Chen, Cao-Xin; Qin, Zheng-Hong

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies reported that Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) regulated immune function and had a therapeutic effect on adjunctive arthritis and nephropathy. We hypothesized that NNAV and its active component, neurotoxin (NTX), might inhibit skin allograft rejection. Skin allografts were used to induce immune rejection in rats. In addition, mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) was used to mimic immune rejection reaction in vitro. Both NNAV and NTX were orally given starting from 5days prior to skin allograft surgery. The results showed that oral administration of NNAV or NTX prolonged the survival of skin allografts and inhibited inflammatory response. The production of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2) was also suppressed. NTX inhibited T-cell proliferation and CD4(+) T cell division induced by skin allografts. NTX also showed immunosuppressive activity in mixed lymphocyte culture. Atropine alone inhibited Con A-induced proliferation of T cells and potentiated NTX' s inhibitory effects on T cells, while pilocarpine only slightly enhanced Con A-induced T cell proliferation and partially reversed the inhibitory effect of NTX. On the other hand, neither nicotine nor mecamylamine had an influence on NTX's inhibitory effects on Con A-induced T cell proliferation in vitro. NTX inhibited T cell proliferation by arresting the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase. The present study revealed that NNAV and NTX suppressed skin allograft rejection by inhibiting T cell-mediated immune responses. These findings suggest both NNAV and NTX as potential immunosuppressants for preventing the immune response to skin allografts. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Opening of brain blood barrier induced by red light and central analgesic improvement of cobra neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yong; Li, Yue; Fang, Fei

    2014-05-05

    Cobra neurotoxin (NT) has central analgesic effects, but it is difficult to pass through brain blood barrier (BBB). A novel method of red light induction is designed to help NT across BBB, which is based on photosensitizer activation by red light to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) to open BBB. The effects were evaluated on cell models and animals in vivo with illumination by semiconductor laser at 670nm on photosensitizer pheophorbide isolated from silkworm excrement. Brain microvascular endothelial cells and astrocytes were co-cultured to build up BBB cell model. The radioactivity of (125)I-NT was measured in cells and tissues for NT permeation. Three ways of cranial irradiation, nasal cavity and intravascular irradiation were tested with combined injection of (125)I-NT 20μg/kg and pheophorbide 100μg/kg to rats, and organs of rats were separated and determined the radioactivity. Paw pressure test in rats, hot plate and writhing test in mice were applied to appraise the analgesic effects. NT across BBB cell model increased with time of illumination, and reached stable level after 60min. So did ROS in cells. NT mainly distributed in liver and kidney of rats, significantly increased in brain after illumination, and improved analgesic effects. Excitation of pheophorbide at red light produces ROS to open BBB, help NT enter brain, and enhance its central action. This research provides a new method for drug across BBB to improve its central role. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype C Associates with Dual Ganglioside Receptors to Facilitate Cell Entry*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karalewitz, Andrew P.-A.; Fu, Zhuji; Baldwin, Michael R.; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2012-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cleave SNARE proteins in motor neurons that inhibits synaptic vesicle (SV) exocytosis, resulting in flaccid paralysis. There are seven BoNT serotypes (A–G). In current models, BoNTs initially bind gangliosides on resting neurons and upon SV exocytosis associate with the luminal domains of SV-associated proteins as a second receptor. The entry of BoNT/C is less clear. Characterizing the heavy chain receptor binding domain (HCR), BoNT/C was shown to utilize gangliosides as dual host receptors. Crystallographic and biochemical studies showed that the two ganglioside binding sites, termed GBP2 and Sia-1, were independent and utilized unique mechanisms to bind complex gangliosides. The GBP2 binding site recognized gangliosides that contained a sia5 sialic acid, whereas the Sia-1 binding site recognized gangliosides that contained a sia7 sialic acid and sugars within the backbone of the ganglioside. Utilizing gangliosides that uniquely recognized the GBP2 and Sia-1 binding sites, HCR/C entry into Neuro-2A cells required both functional ganglioside binding sites. HCR/C entered cells differently than the HCR of tetanus toxin, which also utilizes dual gangliosides as host receptors. A point-mutated HCR/C that lacked GBP2 binding potential retained the ability to bind and enter Neuro-2A cells. This showed that ganglioside binding at the Sia-1 site was accessible on the plasma membrane, suggesting that SV exocytosis may not be required to expose BoNT/C receptors. These studies highlight the utility of BoNT HCRs as probes to study the role of gangliosides in neurotransmission. PMID:23027864

  16. Botulinum neurotoxin type A versus punctal plug insertion in the management of dry eye disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amal A Bukhari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To compare the efficacies of punctal plug insertion and Botulinum toxin injection in dry eye disease not responding to topical medications. Materials and Methods: A non-controlled randomized clinical trial of two parallel groups of 60 dry eye patients seen in the clinic not responding to topical medications were divided into two groups. One group received punctal plugs and the other group received Botulinum toxin injections to prevent lacrimal tear drainage. Results: Of a total of 36 patients with a mean age of 44.5 years who received punctal plugs, 50% of them experienced improvements in the clinical manifestations of their disease. 12/36 (33.3% developed plug extrusion, and 6/36 (16.7% patients developed conjunctival erosions with irritation that necessitated plug removal within one week of insertion. A total of 24 patients with a mean age of 47.5 years received injections of Botulinum toxin. Of these, 83.3% had improvement in all of the clinical manifestations of dry eye. 4/24 (16.7% had no improvement in the degrees to which they experienced foreign body sensations, 33.3% reported shampoo entering the eye while showering. All of the patients who received Botulinum toxin injections were satisfied with the results of their treatment, whereas only 72.3% of the patients who received punctal plugs were satisfied with their results. Conclusion: Botulinum neurotoxin A injections can be a very good alternative to punctal plugs in improving the clinical manifestations of dry eye disease They are associated with the development of fewer and milder complications and with higher levels of patient satisfaction.

  17. Utilizing Ayurvedic literature for the identification of novel phytochemical inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalamanchili, Chinni; Manda, Vamshi K; Chittiboyina, Amar G; Guernieri, Rebecca L; Harrell, William A; Webb, Robert P; Smith, Leonard A; Khan, Ikhlas A

    2017-02-02

    Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of health care practiced on the Indian subcontinent, utilizes a number of multi-plant formulations and is considered by many as a potential source for novel treatments, as well as the identification of new drugs. Our aim is to identify novel phytochemicals for the inhibition of bacterial exotoxin, botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) based on Ayurvedic literature. BoNT/A is released by Clostridium species, which when ingested, inhibits the release of acetylcholine by concentrating at the neuromuscular junction and causes flaccid paralysis, resulting in a condition termed as botulism, and may also lead to death due to respiratory arrest. Fifteen plants were selected from the book 'Diagnosis and treatment of diseases in Ayurveda' by Vaidya Bhagwan Dash and Lalitesh Kashyap, based on their frequency of use in the formulations used for the treatment of six diseases with neuromuscular symptoms similar to botulism. Phytochemicals from these plants were screened using in silico, and in vitro methods. Structures of 570 reported phytochemicals from 14 plants were docked inside six reported BoNT/A light chain crystal structures using ensemble docking module in Maestro (Schrödinger, LLE). From the docking scores and structural diversity, nine compounds including acoric acid 1, three flavonoids, three coumarins derivatives, one kava lactone were selected and screened using an in vitro HPLC-based protease assay. The bioassay results showed that several compounds possess BoNT/A LC inhibition of 50-60% when compared to positive controls NSC 84094 and CB7967495 (80-95%). Further testing of the active compounds identified from Ayurvedic literature and structure-activity studies of acoric acid 1 using more sensitive bioassays is under way. The identification of acoric acid 1, a novel scaffold against BoNT/A, exemplifies the utility of Ayurvedic literature for the discovery of novel drug leads. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights

  18. Characterization of SNARE Cleavage Products Generated by Formulated Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A Drug Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Xie

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluated substrate cleavage product(s generated by three botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A medicinal drug products utilizing a novel and highly specific, light-chain activity, high-performance liquid chromatography (LCA-HPLC method. Samples were reacted with a commercially available BoNT/A fluorescent substrate derived from the SNAP-25 sequence. Reaction products were separated by reversed-phase HPLC. The method detected an atypical cleavage pattern by one of the formulated drug products. IncobotulinumtoxinA produced two cleavage fragments rather than the single fragment typically generated by BoNT/A. Identification confirmed the secondary cleavage at a position corresponding to SNAP-25 Arg198–Ala199 (normal BoNT/A cleavage is Gln197–Arg198. Arg198–Ala199 is also the cleavage site for trypsin and serotype C toxin. Normal cleavage was observed for all other BoNT/A drug product samples, as well as 900-kD and 150-kD bulk toxin BoNT/A. The reason for this unexpected secondary cleavage pattern by one formulated BoNT/A drug product is unknown. Possible explanations include a contaminating protease and/or damage to the 150-kD type-A toxin causing nonspecific substrate recognition and subsequent cleavage uncharacteristic of type-A toxin. The BoNT/A drug products were also analyzed via the LCA-HPLC assay using a commercial BoNT/C fluorescent substrate derived from the syntaxin sequence. Cleavage of the serotype C substrate by incobotulinumtoxinA was also confirmed whilst neither of the other drug products cleaved the syntaxin substrate.

  19. Enhanced neutralization potency of botulinum neurotoxin antibodies using a red blood cell-targeting fusion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharad P Adekar

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT potently inhibits cholinergic signaling at the neuromuscular junction. The ideal countermeasures for BoNT exposure are monoclonal antibodies or BoNT antisera, which form BoNT-containing immune complexes that are rapidly cleared from the general circulation. Clearance of opsonized toxins may involve complement receptor-mediated immunoadherence to red blood cells (RBC in primates or to platelets in rodents. Methods of enhancing immunoadherence of BoNT-specific antibodies may increase their potency in vivo. We designed a novel fusion protein (FP to link biotinylated molecules to glycophorin A (GPA on the RBC surface. The FP consists of an scFv specific for murine GPA fused to streptavidin. FP:mAb:BoNT complexes bound specifically to the RBC surface in vitro. In a mouse model of BoNT neutralization, the FP increased the potency of single and double antibody combinations in BoNT neutralization. A combination of two antibodies with the FP gave complete neutralization of 5,000 LD50 BoNT in mice. Neutralization in vivo was dependent on biotinylation of both antibodies and correlated with a reduction of plasma BoNT levels. In a post-exposure model of intoxication, FP:mAb complexes gave complete protection from a lethal BoNT/A1 dose when administered within 2 hours of toxin exposure. In a pre-exposure prophylaxis model, mice were fully protected for 72 hours following administration of the FP:mAb complex. These results demonstrate that RBC-targeted immunoadherence through the FP is a potent enhancer of BoNT neutralization by antibodies in vivo.

  20. Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A for the Treatment of Atypical Odontalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuadrado, María-Luz; García-Moreno, Héctor; Arias, José-Antonio; Pareja, Juan A

    2016-09-01

    Atypical odontalgia (AO), a subform of persistent idiopathic facial pain, is defined as a continuous toothache in which a thorough examination reveals no dental pathology. AO is believed to be a neuropathic condition, given that some cases are preceded by dental procedures. Different topical and systemic medications have been used for the treatment of AO, but their effect is often unsatisfactory. The authors aimed to assess the effect and safety of botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNTA) in a series of patients with AO. Four patients with refractory AO (2 males and 2 females, aged 31-72) were treated with local injections of BoNTA to the painful area. BoNTA was injected at various sites into the gums, and two patients had additional injections in the hard palate or the upper lip. The total dose of BoNTA for each procedure was 15-30 U, and the total number of injection points was 6-12. The follow-up ranged from 6 to 20 months. Two patients received two cycles of BoNTA, while the remaining patients received three and five cycles each, respectively. All patients obtained significant relief with complete or almost complete reduction of pain. The analgesic effect was apparent after a latency period of 3-14 days, and the effect persisted for 2-6 months. There were no adverse events reported from any of the interventions. The responses to BoNTA injections in this series agree with those previously observed in neuropathic pain. BoNTA injections may be a safe and effective option for the treatment of AO. © 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inui, Ken [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Sagane, Yoshimasa [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Miyata, Keita [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Suzuki, Tomonori [Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Shikamori, Yasuyuki [Agilent Technologies International Japan, Ltd. Takaura-cho 9-1, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0033 (Japan); Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Watanabe, Toshihiro, E-mail: t-watana@bioindustry.nodai.ac.jp [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan)

    2012-03-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X{sub 35}-D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  2. Antinociceptive Effects of Transcytosed Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A on Trigeminal Nociception in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye-Jin; Lee, Geun-Woo; Kim, Min-Ji; Yang, Kui-Ye; Kim, Seong-Taek; Bae, Yong-Cheol

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of peripherally or centrally administered botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) on orofacial inflammatory pain to evaluate the antinociceptive effect of BoNT-A and its underlying mechanisms. The experiments were carried out on male Sprague-Dawley rats. Subcutaneous (3 U/kg) or intracisternal (0.3 or 1 U/kg) administration of BoNT-A significantly inhibited the formalin-induced nociceptive response in the second phase. Both subcutaneous (1 or 3 U/kg) and intracisternal (0.3 or 1 U/kg) injection of BoNT-A increased the latency of head withdrawal response in the complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-treated rats. Intracisternal administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) evoked nociceptive behavior via the activation of trigeminal neurons, which was attenuated by the subcutaneous or intracisternal injection of BoNT-A. Intracisternal injection of NMDA up-regulated c-Fos expression in the trigeminal neurons of the medullary dorsal horn. Subcutaneous (3 U/kg) or intracisternal (1 U/kg) administration of BoNT-A significantly reduced the number of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons in the NMDA-treated rats. These results suggest that the central antinociceptive effects the peripherally or centrally administered BoNT-A are mediated by transcytosed BoNT-A or direct inhibition of trigeminal neurons. Our data suggest that central targets of BoNT-A might provide a new therapeutic tool for the treatment of orofacial chronic pain conditions. PMID:26170739

  3. Light Chain Separated from the Rest of the Type A Botulinum Neurotoxin Molecule is the Most Catalytically Active Form

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-01

    of expressed LC in inhibiting exocytosis in sea urchin eggs [12]. There is however, no experimental evidence available in the literature if the LC...using A0.1% (1 cm light path) value of 1.0 at 278 nm [8] or by BCA assay (Pierce) with bovine serum albumin as standard. Circular dichroism spectra of...neurotoxin: substrate requirements and activation by serum albumin . J Protein Chem 16: 19–26. 38. Chen S, Barbieri JT (2006) Unique substrate recognition by

  4. Epitopic Profiling of Antibody Response against Neurotoxins from the Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Martin Closter; Engmark, Mikael; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    The black mamba (Dendroaspis Polylepis) is among the most dangerous snakes in the world, with a venom dominated by three-finger toxins and dendrotoxins. Among the three-finger toxins, the α-neurotoxins (α-NT) are the most important, and these are conserved between snake species. Cross......-reactivity between threefinger toxins is known to occur, and understanding this phenomenon in depth may help guide future design of antivenoms to obtain optimal specificity against medically important toxins from different snake species. Using a bioinformatic approach, we investigated the cross-reactivity be- tween...

  5. Researchers unmask secret to long-lasting effects of botulinum neurotoxin A in motor neurons | Center for Cancer Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    A team of scientists led by the Center for Cancer Research's Allan M. Weissman, M.D., and Yien Che Tsai, Ph.D., has discovered a molecular mechanism that explains the extreme toxicity of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), the most potent BoNT strain. The discovery, published June 5 in PNAS, also identifies a molecular target that the researchers hope will eventually lead to improved therapies to treat exposure and severely undermine the potential use of BoNTs as bioweapons.  Read more...  

  6. An innovative molecular detection tool for tracking and tracing Clostridium botulinum types A, B, E, F and other botulinum neurotoxin producing Clostridia based on the GeneDisc cycler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fach, P; Fenicia, L; Knutsson, R; Wielinga, P R; Anniballi, F; Delibato, E; Auricchio, B; Woudstra, C; Agren, J; Segerman, B; de Medici, D; van Rotterdam, B J

    2011-03-01

    Rapid and specific detection of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) producing Clostridia is a priority for public health authorities, in case of both natural and intentional botulism outbreaks. This study reports on the evaluation of a detection system based on the GeneDisc Cycler designed for simultaneously testing the bont/A, bont/B, bont/E and bont/F genes encoding for the botulinum neurotoxins types A, B, E and F. BoNT-producing Clostridia (n = 102) and non-BoNT-producing bacteria (n = 52) isolated from clinical, food and environmental samples were tested using this macro-array and results were compared to the reference lethality test on mice. The bont genes were correctly detected in all C. botulinum type A, B, E and F strains available, as well as in toxigenic C. baratii type F and toxigenic C. butyricum type E. No cross reactivity was observed with non human-toxigenic bacteria, C. botulinum types C, D and G. The identification of the bont genotype using the macro-array was correlated to toxino-typing of the BoNTs as determined by the mouse bioassay. An "evaluation trial" of the GeneDisc array performed blind in four European laboratories with 77 BoNT-producing Clostridia as well as 10 food and clinical samples showed that the developed macro-array is specific and reliable for identifying BoNT/A-, BoNT/B-, BoNT/E- and BoNT/F-producing clostridial strains and for screening naturally contaminated food and fecal samples. The test is robust, has a low detection limit (c.a. 5 to 50 genome copies in the PCR reaction microwell) and is promising for monitoring BoNT-producing Clostridia in different kinds of samples including food and clinical samples. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Cloning and characterization of an alpha-neurotoxin-type protein specific for the coral snake Micrurus corallinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira de Oliveira, J; Rossan de Brandão Prieto da Silva, A; Soares, M B; Stephano, M A; de Oliveira Dias, W; Raw, I; Ho, P L

    2000-01-27

    During the cloning of abundant cDNAs expressed in the Micrurus corallinus coral snake venom gland, we cloned an alpha-neurotoxin homologue cDNA (nxh1). Two others isoforms were also cloned (nxh3 and nxh7, respectively). The nxh1 cDNA codes for a potential coral snake toxin with a signal peptide of 21 amino acids plus a predicted mature peptide with 57 amino acids. The deduced protein is highly similar to known toxic three-finger alpha-neurotoxins, with four deduced S-S bridges at the same conserved positions. This is the first cDNA coding for a three-finger related protein described so far for coral snakes. However, the predicted protein does not possess some of the important amino acids for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor interaction. This protein was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged protein that allowed the rapid purification of the recombinant protein. This protein was used to generate antibodies which recognized the recombinant protein in Western blot and also a single band present in the M. corallinus venom, but not in the venom of 10 other Micrurus species. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  8. Partial purification and characterization of a novel neurotoxin and three cytolysins from box jellyfish (Carybdea marsupialis) nematocyst venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Rodríguez, J; Torrens, E; Segura-Puertas, L

    2006-03-01

    This paper describes one neurotoxin and three cytolysins isolated from the venom of the Caribbean box jellyfish Carybdea marsupialis. To assess the cytolytic and neurotoxic activity of the nematocyst venom, several bioassays were carried out, and to evaluate the effect of the toxin, the dose causing 50% lethality (LD(50)) was determined in vivo using sea crabs (Ocypode quadrata). The proteins with neurotoxic and cytolytic effects were isolated using low-pressure liquid chromatography. The fraction containing the neurotoxic activity was analyzed by SDS-PAGE and showed a single protein band with an apparent molecular weight of 120 kDa (CmNt). To demonstrate the neurotoxic activity of this protein, a small fraction of the purified protein was injected into a crab, and the typical convulsions, paralysis, and death provoked by neurotoxins were observed. Three fractions containing cytolysins had protein bands in SDS PAGE with apparent molecular weights of 220, 139, and 36 kDa, and their cytolytic activity was confirmed with the haemolysis assay.

  9. Peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A: design, inhibition, cocrystal structures, structure-activity relationship and pharmacophore modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar G.; Swaminathan S.; Kumaran, D.; Ahmed, S. A.

    2012-05-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The seven serotypes (A-G) of the botulinum neurotoxin, the causative agent of the disease botulism, block neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. Using a structure-based drug-design approach, a number of peptide inhibitors were designed and their inhibitory activity against botulinum serotype A (BoNT/A) protease was determined. The most potent peptide, RRGF, inhibited BoNT/A protease with an IC{sub 50} of 0.9 {micro}M and a K{sub i} of 358 nM. High-resolution crystal structures of various peptide inhibitors in complex with the BoNT/A protease domain were also determined. Based on the inhibitory activities and the atomic interactions deduced from the cocrystal structures, the structure-activity relationship was analyzed and a pharmacophore model was developed. Unlike the currently available models, this pharmacophore model is based on a number of enzyme-inhibitor peptide cocrystal structures and improved the existing models significantly, incorporating new features.

  10. Distribution of Major Basic Protein on Human Airway following In Vitro Eosinophil Incubation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ailing Xue

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Major basic protein (MBP released from activated eosinophils may influence airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR by either direct effects on airway myocytes or by an indirect effect. In this study, human bronchi, freshly isolated human eosinophils, or MBP purified from human eosinophil granules were incubated for studying eosinophil infiltration and MBP localization. Eosinophils immediately adhered to intact human airway as well as to cultured human airway myocytes and epithelium. Following incubation 18–24 h, eosinophils migrated into the airway media, including the smooth muscle layer, but had no specific recruitment to airway neurons. Eosinophils released significant amounts of MBP within the airway media, including areas comprising the smooth muscle layer. Most deposits of MBP were focally discrete and restricted by immunologic detection to a maximum volume of ∼300 μm3 about the eosinophil. Native MBP applied exogenously was immediately deposited on the surface of the airway, but required at least 1 h to become detected within the media of the airway wall. Tissue MBP infiltration and deposition increased in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Taken together, these findings suggest that eosinophil-derived cationic proteins may alter airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR in vivo by an effect that is not limited to the bronchial epithelium.

  11. Species occurrence of the potentially toxigenic diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia and the associated neurotoxin domoic acid in the Argentine Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almandoz, Gastón O; Fabro, Elena; Ferrario, Martha; Tillmann, Urban; Cembella, Allan; Krock, Bernd

    2017-03-01

    The marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, the major known producer of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) responsible for the amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) syndrome in humans and marine mammals, is globally distributed. The genus presents high species richness in the Argentine Sea and DA has been frequently detected in the last few years in plankton and shellfish samples, but the species identity of the producers remains unclear. In the present work, the distribution and abundance of Pseudo-nitzschia species and DA were determined from samples collected on two oceanographic cruises carried out through the Argentine Sea (∼39-47°S) during summer and spring 2013. Phytoplankton composition was analysed by light and electron microscopy while DA was determined by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The genus Pseudo-nitzschia was recorded in 71 and 86% of samples collected in summer and spring, respectively, whereas DA was detected in only 42 and 21% of samples, respectively. Microscopic analyses revealed at least five potentially toxic species (P. australis, P. brasiliana, P. fraudulenta, P. pungens, P. turgidula), plus putatively non-toxigenic P. dolorosa, P. lineola, P. turgiduloides and unidentified specimens of the P. pseudodelicatissima complex. The species P. australis showed the highest correlation with DA occurrence (r=0.55; p<0.05), suggesting its importance as a major DA producer in the Argentine Sea. In the northern area and during summer, DA was associated with the presence of P. brasiliana, a species recorded for the first time in the Argentine Sea. By contrast, high concentrations of P. fraudulenta, P. pungens and P. turgidula did not correspond with DA occurrence. This study represents the first successful attempt to link toxigenicity with Pseudo-nitzschia diversity and cell abundance in field plankton populations in the south-western Atlantic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. No Decrease in Muscle Strength after Botulinum Neurotoxin-A Injection in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eek, Meta N.; Himmelmann, Kate

    2016-01-01

    Spasticity and muscle weakness is common in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Spasticity can be treated with botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A), but this drug has also been reported to induce muscle weakness. Our purpose was to describe the effect on muscle strength in the lower extremities after BoNT-A injections in children with CP. A secondary aim was to relate the effect of BoNT-A to gait pattern and range of motion. Twenty children with spastic CP were included in the study, 8 girls and 12 boys (mean age 7.7 years). All were able to walk without support, but with increased muscle tone interfering with motor function and gait pattern. Sixteen children had unilateral spastic CP and four bilateral spastic CP. Twenty-four legs received injections with BoNT-A in the plantar flexor muscles. The children were tested before treatment, around 6 weeks after at the peak effect of BoNT-A, and at 6 months after treatment, with measurement of muscle strength, gait analysis, and range of motion. There were no differences in muscle strength in plantar flexors of treated legs at peak effect compared to baseline. Six months after treatment, there was still no change in untreated plantar flexor muscles, but an increasing trend in plantar flexor strength in legs treated with BoNT-A. Parents reported positive effects in all children, graded as: small in three children, moderate in eight, and large in nine children. The gait analysis showed a small improvement in knee extension at initial contact, and there was a small increase in passive range of motion for ankle dorsiflexion. Two children had a period with transient weakness and pain. We found that voluntary force production in plantar flexor muscles did not decrease after BoNT-A, instead there was a trend to increased muscle strength at follow-up. The increase may be explained as an effect of the blocking of involuntary nerve impulses, leading to an opportunity to using and training the muscles with voluntary control. Adequate

  13. Glycosylated SV2 and Gangliosides as Dual Receptors for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype F

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Zhuji; Chen, Chen; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Baldwin, Michael R.; (MCW)

    2010-02-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin causes rapid flaccid paralysis through the inhibition of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. The seven BoNT serotypes (A-G) have been proposed to bind motor neurons via ganglioside-protein dual receptors. To date, the structure-function properties of BoNT/F host receptor interactions have not been resolved. Here, we report the crystal structures of the receptor binding domains (HCR) of BoNT/A and BoNT/F and the characterization of the dual receptors for BoNT/F. The overall polypeptide fold of HCR/A is essentially identical to the receptor binding domain of the BoNT/A holotoxin, and the structure of HCR/F is very similar to that of HCR/A, except for two regions implicated in neuronal binding. Solid phase array analysis identified two HCR/F binding glycans: ganglioside GD1a and oligosaccharides containing an N-acetyllactosamine core. Using affinity chromatography, HCR/F bound native synaptic vesicle glycoproteins as part of a protein complex. Deglycosylation of glycoproteins using {alpha}(1-3,4)-fucosidase, endo-{beta}-galactosidase, and PNGase F disrupted the interaction with HCR/F, while the binding of HCR/B to its cognate receptor, synaptotagmin I, was unaffected. These data indicate that the HCR/F binds synaptic vesicle glycoproteins through the keratan sulfate moiety of SV2. The interaction of HCR/F with gangliosides was also investigated. HCR/F bound specifically to gangliosides that contain {alpha}2,3-linked sialic acid on the terminal galactose of a neutral saccharide core (binding order GT1b = GD1a GM3; no binding to GD1b and GM1a). Mutations within the putative ganglioside binding pocket of HCR/F decreased binding to gangliosides, synaptic vesicle protein complexes, and primary rat hippocampal neurons. Thus, BoNT/F neuronal discrimination involves the recognition of ganglioside and protein (glycosylated SV2) carbohydrate moieties, providing a structural basis for the high affinity and specificity of BoNT/F for neurons.

  14. NO DECREASE IN MUSCLE STRENGTH AFTER BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN-A INJECTION IN CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meta Nyström Eek

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Spasticity and muscle weakness is common in children with cerebral palsy (CP. Spasticity can be treated with Botulinum Neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A, but this drug has also been reported to induce muscle weakness. Our purpose was to describe the effect on muscle strength in the lower extremities after BoNT-A injections in children with cerebral palsy. A secondary aim was to relate the effect of BoNT-A to gait pattern and range of motion.Twenty children with spastic cerebral palsy were included in the study, eight girls and 12 boys (mean age 7.7 years. All were able to walk without support, but with increased muscle tone interfering with motor function and gait pattern. Sixteen children had unilateral spastic CP and four bilateral spastic CP. Twenty-four legs received injections with BoNT-A in the plantar flexor muscles. The children were tested before treatment, around six weeks after at the peak effect of BoNT-A, and at six months after treatment, with measurement of muscle strength, gait analysis and range of motion.There were no differences in muscle strength in plantar flexors of treated legs at peak effect compared to baseline. Six months after treatment, there was still no change in untreated plantar flexor muscles, but an increasing trend in plantar flexor strength in legs treated with BoNT-A. Parents reported positive effects in all children, graded as: small in three children, moderate in eight, and large in nine children. The gait analysis showed a small improvement in knee extension at initial contact, and there was a small increase in passive range of motion for ankle dorsiflexion. Two children had a period with transient weakness and pain.We found that voluntary force production in plantar flexor muscles did not decrease after BoNT-A, instead there was a trend to increased muscle strength at follow-up. The increase may be explained as an effect of the blocking of involuntary nerve impulses, leading to an opportunity to using and training the

  15. Three-dimensional structure in solution of neurotoxin III from the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoleras, N; Norton, R S

    1994-09-20

    The three-dimensional structure in aqueous solution of the 27-residue polypeptide neurotoxin Anemonia sulcata toxin III (ATX III) has been determined from 1H NMR data. As ATX III self-associates in the millimolar concentration range, causing a marked concentration dependence for the chemical shifts of several residues [Norton, R. S., Cross, K., Braach-Maksvytis, V., & Wachter, E. (1993) Biochem. J. 293, 545-551], it was necessary to record NOESY spectra over a range of concentrations in order to eliminate any intermolecular interactions from the NOE restraint set. The pairings of the six half-cystine residues were also unknown and had to be determined (as 3-17, 4-11, and 6-22) from preliminary structure calculations performed using both upper bound distance restraints from NOESY data and a substantial number of lower bound restraints inferred from the absence of NOESY cross-peaks. Final structures were determined, using the program X-PLOR, from interproton distance restraints inferred from NOEs, backbone and side chain dihedral angle restraints from spin-spin coupling measurements, and a smaller number of lower bound restraints. Stereospecific assignments for 11 beta-methylene pairs were also included. The final set of 28 structures had an average pairwise RMS difference of 1.32 A over the backbone heavy atoms (N, C alpha, and C) and 2.18 A over all heavy atoms. For the well-defined region encompassing residues 3-22, the corresponding values were 0.62 and 1.28 A, respectively. ATX III adopts a compact structure containing four reverse turns (a distorted type I beta-turn at residues 6-9, a type I beta-turn at residues 8-11, and inverse gamma-turns at residues 12-14 and 15-17) and two other chain reversals, but no regular alpha-helix or beta-sheet. Several of the residues most affected by aggregation are located on the surface of the molecule, forming a hydrophobic patch which may constitute part of the sodium channel binding surface. Possible relationships between

  16. Facile electrochemical detection of botulinum neurotoxin type E using a two-step proteolytic cleavage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seonhwa; Shin, Yu Mi; Song, Ji-Joon; Yang, Haesik

    2015-10-15

    Facile electrochemical methods for measuring protease concentration or protease activity are essential for point-of-care testing of toxic proteases. However, electrochemical detection of proteases, such as botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E), that cleave a peptide bond between two specific amino acid residues is challenging. This study reports a facile and sensitive electrochemical method for BoNT/E detection. The method is based on a two-step proteolytic cleavage using a target BoNT/E light chain (BoNT/E-LC) and an externally supplemented exopeptidase, L-leucine-aminopeptidase (LAP). BoNT/E-LC cleaves a peptide bond between arginine and isoleucine in IDTQNRQIDRI-4-amino-1-naphthol (oligopeptide-AN) to generate isoleucine-AN. Subsequently, LAP cleaves a bond between isoleucine and AN to liberate a free electroactive AN species. The liberated AN participates in electrochemical-chemical-chemical (ECC) redox cycling involving Ru(NH3)6(3+), AN, and a reducing agent, which allows a high signal amplification. Electrochemical detection is carried out without surface modification of indium-tin oxide electrodes. We show that dithiothreitol is beneficial for enhancing the enzymatic activity of BoNT/E-LC and also for achieving a fast ECC redox cycling. An incubation temperature of 37°C and the use of phosphate buffered saline (PBS) buffer resulted in optimal signal-to-background ratios for efficient BoNT/E detection. BoNT/E-LC could be detected at concentrations of approximately 2.0 pg/mL, 0.2, and 3 ng/mL after 4h, 2h, and 15 min incubation in PBS buffer, respectively, and approximately 0.3 ng/mL after 2-h incubation in bottled water. The method developed could be applied in fast, sensitive, and selective detection of any protease that cleaves a peptide bond between two specific amino acid residues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Variation in genes encoding eosinophil granule proteins in atopic dermatitis patients from Germany

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    Epplen Jörg T

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Atopic dermatitis (AD is believed to result from complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. A main feature of AD as well as other allergic disorders is serum and tissue eosinophilia. Human eosinophils contain high amounts of cationic granule proteins, including eosinophil cationic protein (ECP, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN, eosinophil peroxidase (EPO and major basic protein (MBP. Recently, variation in genes encoding eosinophil granule proteins has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of allergic disorders. We therefore genotyped selected single nucleotide polymorphisms within the ECP, EDN, EPO and MBP genes in a cohort of 361 German AD patients and 325 healthy controls. Results Genotype and allele frequencies did not differ between patients and controls for all polymorphisms investigated in this study. Haplotype analysis did not reveal any additional information. Conclusion We did not find evidence to support an influence of variation in genes encoding eosinophil granule proteins for AD pathogenesis in this German cohort.

  18. The ultimate radiochemical nightmare : upon radio-iodination of Botulinum neurotoxin A, the introduced iodine atom itself seems to be fatal for the bioactivity of this macromolecule

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uhm, J.I.M. van; Visser, G.W.M.; Schans, M.J. van der; Geldof, A.A.; Meuleman, E.J.H.; Nieuwenhuijzen, J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is a highly neurotoxic drug and frequently used in patients. Knowledge on the optimal way of administration of BoNT-A and its subsequent distribution is still rather limited. An accurate method for monitoring these processes might be the use of

  19. Structure-function relationships in the receptor for urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Comparison to other members of the Ly-6 family and snake venom alpha-neurotoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ploug, M; Ellis, V

    1994-01-01

    -anchored membrane proteins. Recent evidence has highlighted similarities between the individual domains of uPAR and the large family of secreted, single domain snake venom alpha-neurotoxins, suggesting that uPAR may adopt the same gross folding pattern as these structurally well characterized proteins. Structural...

  20. Safety and administration of treatment with botulinum neurotoxin for sialorrhoea in ALS patients: Review of the litterature and a proposal for tailored treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stokholm, Morten; Bisgård, Carsten; Vilholm, Ole Jakob

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a second-line treatment of sialorrhoea in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patients. This article is a review of the published literature concerning safety and administration of this treatment to ALS patients. A PubMed search was performed. All original...

  1. Negative effects of submandibular botulinum neurotoxin A injections on oral motor function in children with drooling due to central nervous system disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulst, K. van; Kouwenberg, C.V.; Jongerius, P.H.; Feuth, T.; Hoogen, F.J.A. van den; Geurts, A.C.H.; Erasmus, C.E.

    2017-01-01

    AIM: The aims of this study were: (1) to determine the incidence and nature of adverse effects on oral motor function after first injections of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) in submandibular glands for excessive drooling in children with central nervous system disorders; and (2) to identify

  2. SjAPI-2 is the first member of a new neurotoxin family with Ascaris-type fold and KCNQ1 inhibitory activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; Zhang, Chuangeng; Yang, Weishan; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Chen, Zongyun; Wu, Yingliang

    2015-08-01

    Peptides with Ascaris-type fold are a new kind of toxins founded from venomous animals recently. Functionally, these unique toxin peptides had been identified as potent protease inhibitors, which was similar to other known Ascaris-type peptides from non-venomous animals. Whether Ascaris-type peptides from venom animals have neurotoxin activities remains unclear. Here, a scorpion toxin SjAPI-2 with Ascaris-type fold was characterized to have a neurotoxin activity, which can selectively inhibit KCNQ1 potassium channel. SjAPI-2 had 62 amino acid residues, including 10 cysteine residues. Charged residue analyses showed that two acidic residues of SjAPI-2 were regionally distributed, and 10 basic residues were distributed widely throughout the whole peptide, which was similar to classical potassium channel toxins. Pharmacological studies confirmed that SjAPI-2 was a selective KCNQ1 potassium channel inhibitor with weak effects on other potassium channels, such as Kv1.1, Kv1.2, Kv1.3, SKCa2, SKCa3, and IKCa channels. Concentration-dependent studies showed that SjAPI-2 inhibited the KCNQ1 potassium channel with an IC50 of 771.5±169.9 nM. To the best of our knowledge, SjAPI-2 is the first neurotoxin with a unique Ascaris-type fold, providing novel insights into the divergent evolution of neurotoxins from venomous animals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Novel genes encoding six kinds of three-finger toxins in Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) and function characterization of two recombinant long-chain neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Zhang, Huayuan; Liu, Jing; Xu, Kangsen

    2006-09-01

    Three-finger toxins are a family of low-molecular-mass toxins (king cobra). Alignment analysis showed that the putative peptides could be divided into six kinds of three-finger toxins: LNTXs (long-chain neurotoxins), short-chain neurotoxins, cardiotoxins (CTXs), weak neurotoxins, muscarinic toxins and a toxin with a free SH group. Furthermore, a phylogenetic tree was established on the basis of the toxin cDNAs and the previously reported similar nucleotide sequences from the same source venom. It indicated that three-finger-toxin genes in O. hannah diverged early in the course of evolution by long- and short-type pathways. Two LNTXs, namely rLNTX1 (recombinant LNTX1) and rLNTX3, were expressed and showed cytolytic activity in addition to their neurotoxic function. By comparing the functional residues, we offer some possible explanations for the differences in their neurotoxic function. Moreover, a plausible elucidation of the additonal cytolytic activity was achieved by hydropathy-profile analysis. This, to our knowledge, is the first observation that recombinant long chain alpha-neurotoxins have a CTX-like cytolytic activity.

  4. Botulinum Neurotoxin A injections influence stretching of the gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit in an animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haubruck, Patrick; Mannava, Sandeep; Plate, Johannes F; Callahan, Michael F; Wiggins, Walter F; Schmidmaier, Gerhard; Tuohy, Christopher J; Saul, Katherine R; Smith, Thomas L

    2012-08-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) injections have been used for the treatment of muscle contractures and spasticity. This study assessed the influence of (BoNT-A) injections on passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Mousegastrocnemius muscle (GC) was injected with BoNT-A (n = 18) or normal saline (n = 18) and passive, non-destructive, in vivo load relaxation experimentation was performed to examine how the muscle-tendon unit behaves after chemical denervation with BoNT-A. Injection of BoNT-A impaired passive muscle recovery (15% vs. 35% recovery to pre-stretching baseline, p stretch reflex; thereby modulating in vivo passive muscle properties. However, it is also possible that BoNT-A injection may alter the structure of skeletal muscle; thus modulating the in vivo passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit.

  5. Venomics of Naja sputatrix, the Javan spitting cobra: A short neurotoxin-driven venom needing improved antivenom neutralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Nget Hong; Wong, Kin Ying; Tan, Choo Hock

    2017-03-22

    The venom proteome of Naja sputatrix (Javan spitting cobra) was elucidated through reverse-phase HPLC, nano-ESI-LCMS/MS and data mining. A total of 97 distinct protein forms belonging to 14 families were identified. The most abundant proteins are the three-finger toxins (3FTXs, 64.22%) and phospholipase A2 (PLA2, 31.24%), followed by nerve growth factors (1.82%), snake venom metalloproteinase (1.33%) and several proteins of lower abundance (cobra, Naja sputatrix is by itself a unique species and should not be confused as the equatorial and the Indochinese spitting cobras. The distinction among the spitting cobras was however unclear prior to the revision of cobra systematics in the mid-90's, and results of some earlier studies are now questionable as to which species was implicated back then. The current study successfully profiled the venom proteome of authenticated N. sputatrix, and showed that the venom is made up of approximately 64% three-finger toxins (including neurotoxins and cytotoxins) and 31% phospholipases A2 by total venom proteins. The findings verified that the paralyzing components in the venom i.e. neurotoxins are predominantly the short-chain subtype (SNTX) far exceeding the long-chain subtype (LNTX) which is more abundant in the venoms of monocled cobra and Indian common cobra. The neurotoxicity of N. sputatrix venom is hence almost exclusively SNTX-driven, and effective neutralization of the SNTX is the key to early reversal of paralysis. Unfortunately, as shown through a toxin-specific assay, the immunological neutralization of the SNTX using the Indonesian antivenom (SABU) was extremely weak, implying that SABU has limited therapeutic efficacy in treating N. sputatrix envenomation clinically. From the practical standpoint, actions need to be taken at all levels from laboratory to production and policy making to ensure that the shortcoming is overcome. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Detection and Quantification of Biologically Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes A and B Using a Förster Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Quantum Dot Nanobiosensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yun [Center for Food; Fry, H. Christopher [Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Lemont, DuPage County, Illinois 60439, United States; Skinner, Guy E. [Center for Food; Schill, Kristin M. [Center for Food; Duncan, Timothy V. [Center for Food

    2017-03-20

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most potent toxin known. The ingestion of food contaminated with biologically active BoNT causes foodborne botulism, which can lead to respiratory paralysis, coma, and death after ingestion of as little as 70 mu g for a 70 kg human. Because of its lethality and challenges associated with current detection methods, there is an urgent need for highly sensitive rapid screening techniques capable of detecting biologically active BoNT. Here, we describe a Forster resonance energy transfer-based nanobiosensor that uses quantum dots (QDs) and two specific quencher-labeled peptide probes to detect and differentiate two biologically active forms of BoNT, serotypes A and B, which were responsible for 80% of human foodborne botulism cases in the U.S. from 2012 to 2015. Each peptide probe contains an enzymatic cleavage site specific to only one serotype. QDs were selected based on the spectral overlap with the quenchers. In the presence of the target BoNT serotype, the peptide probe is cleaved and the quenching of QD photoluminescence (PL) is reduced, giving a signal that is easily detected by a PL spectrophotometer. This sensor performance was evaluated with light chains of BoNT/A and BoNT/B (LcA and LcB), catalytic domains of the respective serotypes. LcA and LcB were detected in 3 h with limits of detection of 0.2 and 2 ng/mL, respectively. The specificity of the sensor was evaluated, and no cross-reactivity from nontarget serotypes was observed with 2 h of incubation. Because each serotype-specific peptide is conjugated to a QD with a unique emission wavelength, multiple biologically active BoNT serotypes could be detected in one PL spectrum. The sensor was also shown to be responsive to BoNT/A and BoNT/B holotoxins. Good performance of this sensor implies its potential application as a rapid screening method for biologically active BoNT/A and BoNT/B in the laboratory and in the field.

  7. Analysis of the neurotoxin complex genes in Clostridium botulinum A1-A4 and B1 strains: BoNT/A3, /Ba4 and /B1 clusters are located within plasmids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa J Smith

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Clostridium botulinum and related clostridial species express extremely potent neurotoxins known as botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs that cause long-lasting, potentially fatal intoxications in humans and other mammals. The amino acid variation within the BoNT is used to categorize the species into seven immunologically distinct BoNT serotypes (A-G which are further divided into subtypes. The BoNTs are located within two generally conserved gene arrangements known as botulinum progenitor complexes which encode toxin-associated proteins involved in toxin stability and expression. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because serotype A and B strains are responsible for the vast majority of human botulism cases worldwide, the location, arrangement and sequences of genes from eight different toxin complexes representing four different BoNT/A subtypes (BoNT/A1-Ba4 and one BoNT/B1 strain were examined. The bivalent Ba4 strain contained both the BoNT/A4 and BoNT/bvB toxin clusters. The arrangements of the BoNT/A3 and BoNT/A4 subtypes differed from the BoNT/A1 strains and were similar to those of BoNT/A2. However, unlike the BoNT/A2 subtype, the toxin complex genes of BoNT/A3 and BoNT/A4 were found within large plasmids and not within the chromosome. In the Ba4 strain, both BoNT toxin clusters (A4 and bivalent B were located within the same 270 kb plasmid, separated by 97 kb. Complete genomic sequencing of the BoNT/B1 strain also revealed that its toxin complex genes were located within a 149 kb plasmid and the BoNT/A3 complex is within a 267 kb plasmid. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Despite their size differences and the BoNT genes they contain, the three plasmids containing these toxin cluster genes share significant sequence identity. The presence of partial insertion sequence (IS elements, evidence of recombination/gene duplication events, and the discovery of the BoNT/A3, BoNT/Ba4 and BoNT/B1 toxin complex genes within plasmids illustrate the

  8. Ultrastructural localization of the Charcot-Leyden crystal protein (lysophospholipase) to granules and intragranular crystals in mature human basophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, A M; Ackerman, S J

    1989-04-01

    Human blood basophils have been shown to form Charcot-Leyden crystals (CLC) and to contain quantities of CLC protein comparable to the eosinophil (Ackerman SJ, Weil GJ, Gleich GJ, J Exp Med 155:1597, 1982). We examined the subcellular localization of CLC protein in human basophils from peripheral blood using an ultrastructural postembedding immunogold method and affinity chromatography-purified polyclonal primary antibody to purified human eosinophil CLC protein. We found CLC protein to be uniquely associated with the main, large, particle-filled granule population of human basophils and particularly within intragranular Charcot-Leyden crystals in these granules. Rarely, CLC protein was localized within small, smooth perigranular vesicles. Neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes present in preparations stained for the CLC protein were negative as were controls for the specificity of the immunogold staining. Mature eosinophils contained small numbers of positive crystalloid-free primary granules, as previously reported (Dvorak AM, Letourneau L, Login GR, Weler PF, Ackerman SJ, Blood 72:150, 1988). The presence of CLC protein in hexagonal and pyramidal crystals regularly present in activated types II and III basophils suggests two possibilities currently being investigated. Like eosinophils, basophils could synthesize CLC protein, or eosinophil-derived CLC protein could be internalized and stored in basophil granules. Regardless of the mechanism for acquisition of CLC protein (lysophospholipase) by basophils, the identification and subcellular localization of this enzyme in basophils requires that it be considered in basophil cell biology as well as in the pathobiology of basophil-rich reactions.

  9. CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Genomic Deletion of the Beta-1, 4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 Gene in Murine P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells Results in Low Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxin Type C.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Tsukamoto

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum cause flaccid paralysis by inhibiting neurotransmitter release at peripheral nerve terminals. Previously, we found that neurons derived from the murine P19 embryonal carcinoma cell line exhibited high sensitivity to botulinum neurotoxin type C. In order to prove the utility of P19 cells for the study of the intracellular mechanism of botulinum neurotoxins, ganglioside-knockout neurons were generated by deletion of the gene encoding beta-1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 in P19 cells using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats combined with Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9 system. By using this system, knockout cells could be generated more easily than with previous methods. The sensitivity of the generated beta-1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1-depleted P19 neurons to botulinum neurotoxin type C was decreased considerably, and the exogenous addition of the gangliosides GD1a, GD1b, and GT1b restored the susceptibility of P19 cells to botulinum neurotoxin type C. In particular, addition of a mixture of these three ganglioside more effectively recovered the sensitivity of knockout cells compared to independent addition of GD1a, GD1b, or GT1b. Consequently, the genome-edited P19 cells generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system were useful for identifying and defining the intracellular molecules involved in the toxic action of botulinum neurotoxins.

  10. Synthesis and neurotoxicological evaluation of putative metabolites of the serotonergic neurotoxin 2-(methylamino)-1-[3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenyl] propane [(methylenedioxy)methamphetamine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Z Y; Castagnoli, N; Ricaurte, G A; Steele, T; Martello, M

    1992-01-01

    Theoretical considerations and recent experimental data have prompted an investigation of the neurotoxicological properties of the 6-hydroxydopamine analogue 2-(methylamino)-1-(2,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl)propane (5) and its possible precursor 1-[2-hydroxy-4,5-(methylenedioxy)phenyl]-2- (methylamino)propane (4), potential metabolites of the serotonergic neurotoxin MDMA. Systemic, intracerebroventricular, and intraparenchymal (intrastriatal and intracortical) administration of 4 led to no detectable alterations of hippocampal or cortical serotonin or striatal dopamine levels in the rat under conditions that caused significant biogenic amine depletions by established neurotoxins. By contrast, intraparenchymal administration of 5 caused profound depletions of dopamine and serotonin, with the former being more severely depleted than the latter. Although not conclusive, these data suggest a possible role for 5 in the mediation of MDMA's neurotoxic actions.

  11. Assessment: Botulinum neurotoxin for the treatment of spasticity (an evidence-based review): report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, D M; Gracies, J-M; Graham, H K; Miyasaki, J M; Naumann, M; Russman, B; Simpson, L L; So, Y

    2008-05-06

    To perform an evidence-based review of the safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in the treatment of adult and childhood spasticity. A literature search was performed including MEDLINE and Current Contents for therapeutic articles relevant to BoNT and spasticity. Authors reviewed, abstracted, and classified articles based on American Academy of Neurology criteria (Class I-IV). The highest quality literature available for the respective indications was as follows: adult spasticity (14 Class I studies); spastic equinus and adductor spasticity in pediatric cerebral palsy (six Class I studies). Botulinum neurotoxin should be offered as a treatment option for the treatment of spasticity in adults and children (Level A).

  12. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel M. Barber

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Taipans (Oxyuranus spp. are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β and postsynaptic (α neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan, a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da, a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1–1 µM produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA2 value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87% with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  13. Recombinant botulinum neurotoxin Hc subunit (BoNT Hc) and catalytically inactive Clostridium botulinum holoproteins (ciBoNT HPs) as vaccine candidates for the prevention of botulism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-03

    Recombinant botulinum neurotoxin Hc subunit (BoNT Hc) and catalytically inactive Clostridium 1 botulinum holoproteins (ciBoNT HPs) as vaccine...hundreds of years, the disease was 47 recognized as a public health concern in the United States after 32 people died in 5 outbreaks 48 associated with...ripe olives in 1919 and 1920 [3]. These incidents emphasized the need for 49 effective treatments, such as antitoxins and vaccines, to counteract

  14. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Carmel M; Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2016-02-29

    Taipans (Oxyuranus spp.) are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β) and postsynaptic (α) neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan), a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da), a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1-1 µM) produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL) delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM). α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA₂ value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a) as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87%) with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  15. Gene expression profiling in brain of mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin ciguatoxin reveals an acute anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan James C

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ciguatoxins (CTXs are polyether marine neurotoxins and potent activators of voltage-gated sodium channels. This toxin is carried by multiple reef-fish species and human consumption of ciguatoxins can result in an explosive gastrointestinal/neurologic illness. This study characterizes the global transcriptional response in mouse brain to a symptomatic dose of the highly toxic Pacific ciguatoxin P-CTX-1 and additionally compares this data to transcriptional profiles from liver and whole blood examined previously. Adult male C57/BL6 mice were injected with 0.26 ng/g P-CTX-1 while controls received only vehicle. Animals were sacrificed at 1, 4 and 24 hrs and transcriptional profiling was performed on brain RNA with Agilent whole genome microarrays. RT-PCR was used to independently validate gene expression and the web tool DAVID was used to analyze gene ontology (GO and molecular pathway enrichment of the gene expression data. Results A pronounced 4°C hypothermic response was recorded in these mice, reaching a minimum at 1 hr and lasting for 8 hrs post toxin exposure. Ratio expression data were filtered by intensity, fold change and p-value, with the resulting data used for time course analysis, K-means clustering, ontology classification and KEGG pathway enrichment. Top GO hits for this gene set included acute phase response and mono-oxygenase activity. Molecular pathway analysis showed enrichment for complement/coagulation cascades and metabolism of xenobiotics. Many immediate early genes such as Fos, Jun and Early Growth Response isoforms were down-regulated although others associated with stress such as glucocorticoid responsive genes were up-regulated. Real time PCR confirmation was performed on 22 differentially expressed genes with a correlation of 0.9 (Spearman's Rho, p Conclusions Many of the genes differentially expressed in this study, in parallel with the hypothermia, figure prominently in protection against

  16. Structural Insights into the Functional Role of the Hcn Sub-domain of the Receptor-Binding Domain of the Botulinum Neurotoxin Mosaic Serotype C/D

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yanfeng; Gardberg, Anna; Edwards, Tom E.; Sankaran, Banumathi; Robinson, Howard; Varnum, Susan M.; Buchko, Garry W.

    2013-07-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of the deadly neuroparalytic disease botulism, is the most poisonous protein known for humans. Produced by different strains of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, BoNT effects cellular intoxication via a multistep mechanism executed by the three modules of the activated protein. Endocytosis, the first step of cellular intoxication, is triggered by the ~50 kDa, heavy-chain receptor-binding module (HCR) that is specific for a ganglioside and a protein receptor on neuronal cell surfaces. This dual receptor recognition mechanism between BoNT and the host cell’s membrane is well documented and occurs via specific intermolecular interactions with the C-terminal sub-domain, Hcc, of BoNT-HCR. The N-terminal sub-domain of BoNT-HCR, Hcn, comprises ~50% of BoNT-HCR and adopts a B-sheet jelly roll fold. While suspected in assisting cell surface recognition, no unambiguous function for the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT has been indentified. To obtain insights into the potential function of the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT, the first crystal structure of a BoNT with an organic ligand bound to the Hcn sub-domain has been obtained. Here, we describe the crystal structure of BoNT/CD-HCR determined at 1.70 Å resolution with a tetraethylene glycol (PG4) molecule bound in an hydrophobic cleft between B-strands in the B-sheet jelly fold roll of the Hcn sub-domain. The molecule is completely engulfed in the cleft, making numerous hydrophobic (Y932, S959, W966, and D1042) and hydrophilic (S935, W977, L979, N1013, and I1066) contacts with the protein’s side chain and backbone that may mimic in vivo interactions with the phospholipid membranes on neuronal cell surfaces. A sulfate ion was also observed bound to residues T1176, D1177, K1196, and R1243 in the Hcc sub-domain of BoNT/CD-HCR. In the crystal structure of a similar protein, BoNT/D-HCR, a sialic acid

  17. Botulinum and Tetanus Neurotoxin Induced Blockage of Synaptic Transmission in Networked Cultures of Human and Rodent Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-28

    vesicles at the presynaptic membrane (Sudhof and Rizo, 2011). Proteolytic cleavage of neu- ronal SNARE proteins by LC blocks vesicle fusion, thereby pre...and resistance varied by less than 20% during the recording. Neurons were bathed in extracellular recording buffer (ERB) containing (in mM): 140 NaCl...synapse- or network-level behaviors as readouts of intoxication, including live imaging of Ca2þ oscilla- tions (Li et al., 2014), extracellular

  18. Label-Free (XIC) Quantification of Venom Procoagulant and Neurotoxin Expression in Related Australian Elapid Snakes Gives Insight into Venom Toxicity Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejic, Jure; Steer, David L; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2015-11-06

    This study demonstrates a direct role of venom protein expression alteration in the evolution of snake venom toxicity. Avian skeletal muscle contractile response to exogenously administered acetylcholine is completely inhibited upon exposure to South Australian and largely preserved following exposure to Queensland eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis venom, indicating potent postsynaptic neurotoxicity of the former and lack thereof of the latter venom. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals extremely large differences in the expression of postsynaptic three-finger α-neurotoxins in these venoms, explaining the difference in the muscle contractile response and suggesting that the type of toxicity induced by venom can be modified by altered expression of venom proteins. Furthermore, the onset of neuromuscular paralysis in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation occurs sooner upon exposure to the venom (10 μg/mL) with high expression of α-neurotoxins than the venoms containing predominately presynaptic β-neurotoxins. The study also finds that the onset of rat plasma coagulation is faster following exposure to the venoms with higher expression of venom prothrombin activator subunits. This is the first quantitative proteomic study that uses extracted ion chromatogram peak areas (MS1 XIC) of distinct homologous tryptic peptides to directly show the differences in the expression of venom proteins.

  19. Endangered North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) experience repeated, concurrent exposure to multiple environmental neurotoxins produced by marine algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doucette, Gregory J; Mikulski, Christina M; King, Kristen L; Roth, Patricia B; Wang, Zhihong; Leandro, Luis F; DeGrasse, Stacey L; White, Kevin D; De Biase, Daniela; Gillett, Roxanne M; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-01-01

    The western North Atlantic population of right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the most critically endangered of any whale population in the world. Among the factors considered to have potentially adverse effects on the health and reproduction of E. glacialis are biotoxins produced by certain microalgae responsible for causing harmful algal blooms. The worldwide incidence of these events has continued to increase dramatically over the past several decades and is expected to remain problematic under predicted climate change scenarios. Previous investigations have demonstrated that N. Atlantic right whales are being exposed to at least two classes of algal-produced environmental neurotoxins-paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and domoic acid (DA). Our primary aims during this six-year study (2001-2006) were to assess whether the whales' exposure to these algal biotoxins occurred annually over multiple years, and to what extent individual whales were exposed repeatedly and/or concurrently to one or both toxin classes. Approximately 140 right whale fecal samples obtained across multiple habitats in the western N. Atlantic were analyzed for PSTs and DA. About 40% of these samples were attributed to individual whales in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, permitting analysis of biotoxin exposure according to sex, age class, and reproductive status/history. Our findings demonstrate clearly that right whales are being exposed to both of these algal biotoxins on virtually an annual basis in multiple habitats for periods of up to six months (April through September), with similar exposure rates for females and males (PSTs: ∼70-80%; DA: ∼25-30%). Notably, only one of 14 lactating females sampled did not contain either PSTs or DA, suggesting the potential for maternal toxin transfer and possible effects on neonatal animals. Moreover, 22% of the fecal samples tested for PSTs and DA showed concurrent exposure to both neurotoxins, leading to questions of interactive

  20. The analgesic effect on neuropathic pain of retrogradely transported botulinum neurotoxin A involves Schwann cells and astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Marinelli

    Full Text Available In recent years a growing debate is about whether botulinum neurotoxins are retrogradely transported from the site of injection. Immunodetection of cleaved SNAP-25 (cl-SNAP-25, the protein of the SNARE complex targeted by botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A, could represent an excellent approach to investigate the mechanism of action on the nociceptive pathways at peripheral and/or central level. After peripheral administration of BoNT/A, we analyzed the expression of cl-SNAP-25, from the hindpaw's nerve endings to the spinal cord, together with the behavioral effects on neuropathic pain. We used the chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve in CD1 mice as animal model of neuropathic pain. We evaluated immunostaining of cl-SNAP-25 in the peripheral nerve endings, along the sciatic nerve, in dorsal root ganglia and in spinal dorsal horns after intraplantar injection of saline or BoNT/A, alone or colocalized with either glial fibrillar acidic protein, GFAP, or complement receptor 3/cluster of differentiation 11b, CD11b, or neuronal nuclei, NeuN, depending on the area investigated. Immunofluorescence analysis shows the presence of the cl-SNAP-25 in all tissues examined, from the peripheral endings to the spinal cord, suggesting a retrograde transport of BoNT/A. Moreover, we performed in vitro experiments to ascertain if BoNT/A was able to interact with the proliferative state of Schwann cells (SC. We found that BoNT/A modulates the proliferation of SC and inhibits the acetylcholine release from SC, evidencing a new biological effect of the toxin and further supporting the retrograde transport of the toxin along the nerve and its ability to influence regenerative processes. The present results strongly sustain a combinatorial action at peripheral and central neural levels and encourage the use of BoNT/A for the pathological pain conditions difficult to treat in clinical practice and dramatically impairing patients' quality of life.

  1. Double anchorage to the membrane and intact inter-chain disulfide bond are required for the low pH induced entry of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins into neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella; Bolognese, Paolo; Shone, Clifford C; Montecucco, Cesare

    2011-11-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are di-chain proteins that cause paralysis by inhibiting neuroexocytosis. These neurotoxins enter into nerve terminals via endocytosis inside synaptic vesicles, whose acidic pH induces a structural change of the neurotoxin molecule that becomes capable of translocating its L chain into the cytosol, via a transmembrane protein-conducting channel made by the H chain. This is the least understood step of the intoxication process primarily because it takes place inside vesicles within the cytosol. In the present study, we describe how this passage was made accessible to investigation by making it to occur at the surface of neurons. The neurotoxin, bound to the plasma membrane in the cold, was exposed to a warm low pH extracellular medium and the entry of the L chain was monitored by measuring its specific metalloprotease activity with a ratiometric method. We found that the neurotoxin has to be bound to the membrane via at least two anchorage sites in order for a productive low-pH induced structural change to take place. In addition, this process can only occur if the single inter-chain disulfide bond is intact. The pH dependence of the conformational change of tetanus neurotoxin and botulinum neurotoxin B, C and D is similar and take places in the same slightly acidic range, which comprises that present inside synaptic vesicles. Based on these and previous findings, we propose a stepwise sequence of molecular events that lead from toxin binding to membrane insertion. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Botulinum neurotoxin type A injections reduce spasticity in mild to moderate hereditary spastic paraplegia--report of 19 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Martin J; Stolze, Henning; Auf dem Brinke, Matthias; Giess, Ralf; Treig, Thoams; Winterholler, Martin; Wissel, Jörg

    2008-01-30

    Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is characterized by lower extremity spasticity. Symptomatic therapy generally includes physical therapy and oral antispastic agents, in selected cases intrathecal baclofen. Because of the positive results in other treatments of spasticity, the use of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) might also be considered for patients with HSP. We report the effect of BoNT-A injections in 19 unselected patients with HSP treated by the members of the German Spasticity Education Group. In 17 patients, the modified Ashworth scale had improved by one point. In one patient, it improved by three points. Most of the patients reported reduction of spasticity. BoNT-A injections were continued in 11 of 19 patients (57.9%). All of the patients with continued injections had a good or very good global subjective improvement. Patients with less pronounced spasticity and patients with accompanying physical therapy tended to exhibit a better effect. Only four patients reported adverse effects which were increased weakness in three patients and pain in one patient. BoNT-A injections appear to reduce spasticity effectively and safely, especially in patients with mild to moderate spasticity. The preliminary results of our case series should encourage larger studies of BoNT-A injections in HSP. 2007 Movement Disorder Society

  3. Effect of nitrogen on cellular production and release of the neurotoxin anatoxin-a in a nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis eGagnon

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Anatoxin-a (ANTX is a neurotoxin produced by several freshwater cyanobacteria and implicated in lethal poisonings of domesticated animals and wildlife. The factors leading to its production in nature and in culture are not well understood. Resource availability may influence its cellular production as suggested by the carbon-nutrient hypothesis, which links the amount of secondary metabolites produced by plants or microbes to the relative abundance of nutrients. We tested the effects of nitrogen supply on ANTX production and release in a toxic strain of the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (Nostocales. We hypothesized that nitrogen deficiency might constrain the production of ANTX. However, the total concentration and more significantly the cellular content of anatoxin-a peaked (max. 146 µg/L and 1683 µg•g-1 dry weight at intermediate levels of nitrogen supply when N-deficiency was evident based on phycocyanin to chlorophyll a and carbon to nitrogen ratios. The results suggest that the cellular production of anatoxin-a may be stimulated by moderate nutrient stress as described recently for another cyanotoxin (microcystin.

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin: Progress in negating its neurotoxicity; and in extending its therapeutic utility via molecular engineering. MiniReview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostrzewa, Richard M; Kostrzewa, Rose Anna; Kostrzewa, John P

    2015-10-01

    While the poisonous effects of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) have been recognized since antiquity, the overall actions and mechanisms of effects of BoNT have been elucidated primarily over the past several decades. The general utility of BoNT is described in the paper, but the focus is mainly on the approaches towards negating the toxic effects of BoNT, and on the projection of an engineered BoNT molecule serving as a Trojan Horse to deliver a therapeutic load for treatment of a host of medical disorders. The BoNT molecule is configured with a binding domain, a zinc-dependent protease with specificity primarily for vesicular proteins, and a translocation domain for delivery of the metalloprotease into the cytoplasm. The anti-toxin approaches for BoNT include the use of vaccines, antibodies, block of BoNT binding or translocation, inhibition of metalloprotease activity, impeded translocation of the protease/catalytic domain, and inhibition of the downstream Src signaling pathway. Projections of BoNT as a therapeutic include its targeting to non-cholinergic nerves, also targeting to non-neuronal cells for treatment of hypersecretory disorders (e.g., cystic fibrosis), and treatment of hormonal disorders (e.g., acromegaly). Still in the exploratory phase, there is the expectation of major advances in BoNT neuroprotective strategies and burgeoning utility of engineered BoNTs as therapeutics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Two-component systems are involved in the regulation of botulinum neurotoxin synthesis in Clostridium botulinum type A strain Hall.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloé Connan

    Full Text Available Clostridium botulinum synthesizes a potent neurotoxin (BoNT which associates with non-toxic proteins (ANTPs to form complexes of various sizes. The bont and antp genes are clustered in two operons. In C. botulinum type A, bont/A and antp genes are expressed during the end of the exponential growth phase and the beginning of the stationary phase under the control of an alternative sigma factor encoded by botR/A, which is located between the two operons. In the genome of C. botulinum type A strain Hall, 30 gene pairs predicted to encode two-component systems (TCSs and 9 orphan regulatory genes have been identified. Therefore, 34 Hall isogenic antisense strains on predicted regulatory genes (29 TCSs and 5 orphan regulatory genes have been obtained by a mRNA antisense procedure. Two TCS isogenic antisense strains showed more rapid growth kinetics and reduced BoNT/A production than the control strain, as well as increased bacterial lysis and impairment of the bacterial cell wall structure. Three other TCS isogenic antisense strains induced a low level of BoNT/A and ANTP production. Interestingly, reduced expression of bont/A and antp genes was shown to be independent of botR/A. These results indicate that BoNT/A synthesis is under the control of a complex network of regulation including directly at least three TCSs.

  6. Clostridium botulinum serotype D neurotoxin and toxin complex bind to bovine aortic endothelial cells via sialic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneyama, Tohru; Miyata, Keita; Chikai, Tomoyuki; Mikami, Akifumi; Suzuki, Tomonori; Hasegawa, Kimiko; Ikeda, Toshihiko; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi

    2008-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced as a large toxin complex (L-TC) associated with nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin subcomponents (HA-70, -33 and -17). The binding properties of BoNT to neurons and L-TC to intestinal epithelial cells are well documented, while those to other tissues are largely unknown. Here, to obtain novel insights into the pathogenesis of foodborne botulism, we examine whether botulinum toxins bind to vascular endothelial cells. BoNT and 750 kDa L-TC (a complex of BoNT, NTNHA and HAs) of Clostridium botulinum serotype D were incubated with bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs), and binding to the cells was assessed using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot. Both BoNT and L-TC bound to BAECs, with L-TC showing stronger binding. Binding of BoNT and L-TC to BAECs was significantly inhibited by N-acetyl neuraminic acid in the cell culture medium or by treatment of the cells with neuraminidase. However, galactose, lactose or N-acetyl galactosamine did not significantly inhibit toxin binding to the cells. This is the first report demonstrating that BoNT and L-TC bind to BAECs via sialic acid, and this mechanism may be important in the trafficking pathway of BoNT in foodborne botulism.

  7. Enhancing insecticidal efficacy of baculovirus by early expressing an insect neurotoxin, LqhIT2, in infected Trichoplusia ni larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinn, Tzyy-Rong; Tu, Wu-Chun; Lu, Cha-I; Tzen, Jason T C

    2006-10-01

    LqhIT(2), an insect specific neurotoxin from the venom of Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, has been demonstrated to improve insecticidal efficacy of Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV). A polyhedrin-positive recombinant AcMNPVvAcP(hsp70)EGFP/P(pag90)IT(2) was engineered for larvae to express the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) and LqhIT(2) under the control of P(hsp70) and P(pag90) promoters, respectively. This would allow a visual observation of the viral infection and an improvement of the insecticidal efficacy. The insecticidal activity of this recombinant baculovirus, a wild type AcMNPV and four other recombinant baculoviruses, was evaluated and compared in terms of mortality, body weight, median lethal time (LT(50)), and median lethal concentration (LC(50)). Insecticidal efficacy was unaltered when treated with vAcP(hsp70)EGFP, moderately improved when infected by vAcP(10)IT(2) (a P(10)-promoted LqhIT ( 2 ) gene), and significantly elevated when treated with vAcP(pag90)IT(2) or vAcP(hsp70)EGFP/P(pag90)IT(2). No apparent difference was observed in insecticidal efficacy when additional EGFP was expressed as a visible marker. These results suggest that recombinant AcMNPV vAcP(hsp70)EGFP/P(pag90)IT(2) may be used as an effective insecticide against Trichoplusia ni and other lepidopterous insect pests.

  8. Mechanisms of imposex induction in the mud snail, Ilyanassa obsoleta: TBT as a neurotoxin and aromatase inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberdörster, Eva; McClellan-Green, Patricia

    2002-01-01

    The occurrence of imposex, imposition of male sex characteristics on female snails, has been extensively documented throughout the world. Tributyltin (TBT) and other organotins have been causally linked to imposex induction at levels as low as 2 ng/l. There are several proposed mechanisms of action. First, TBT has been shown to be neurotoxic and to accumulate in snail ganglia. Peptide hormones control sexual differentiation in gastropods, and one hypothesis is that TBT acts as a neurotoxin to abnormally release the peptide hormone Penis Morphogenic Factor (PMF). However, PMF has not been characterized to date. The neuropeptide APGWamide significantly induces imposex in the mud snail, Ilyanassa obsoleta, at 10(-16) moles sub-cutaneous (SQ) injection over 2 weeks, and could be the PMF in this species. A second hypothesis is that TBT inhibits aromatase activity leading to increased testosterone levels and decreased estradiol. In vitro studies with snail digestive gland microsomes showed that TBT-dosed snails not exhibiting imposex had a 52% reduction in aromatase activity. Although the role of vertebrate sex steroids is not known in gastropods, it is possible that the combination of changes in peptide and steroid hormones may lead to imposex induction at extremely low doses of TBT.

  9. Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins from Complex Matrices: Results of the First International Proficiency Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Worbs

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In the framework of the EU project EQuATox, a first international proficiency test (PT on the detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT was conducted. Sample materials included BoNT serotypes A, B and E spiked into buffer, milk, meat extract and serum. Different methods were applied by the participants combining different principles of detection, identification and quantification. Based on qualitative assays, 95% of all results reported were correct. Successful strategies for BoNT detection were based on a combination of complementary immunological, MS-based and functional methods or on suitable functional in vivo/in vitro approaches (mouse bioassay, hemidiaphragm assay and Endopep-MS assay. Quantification of BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/E was performed by 48% of participating laboratories. It turned out that precise quantification of BoNT was difficult, resulting in a substantial scatter of quantitative data. This was especially true for results obtained by the mouse bioassay which is currently considered as “gold standard” for BoNT detection. The results clearly demonstrate the urgent need for certified BoNT reference materials and the development of methods replacing animal testing. In this context, the BoNT PT provided the valuable information that both the Endopep-MS assay and the hemidiaphragm assay delivered quantitative results superior to the mouse bioassay.

  10. Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins from Complex Matrices: Results of the First International Proficiency Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worbs, Sylvia; Fiebig, Uwe; Zeleny, Reinhard; Schimmel, Heinz; Rummel, Andreas; Luginbühl, Werner; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2015-11-26

    In the framework of the EU project EQuATox, a first international proficiency test (PT) on the detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) was conducted. Sample materials included BoNT serotypes A, B and E spiked into buffer, milk, meat extract and serum. Different methods were applied by the participants combining different principles of detection, identification and quantification. Based on qualitative assays, 95% of all results reported were correct. Successful strategies for BoNT detection were based on a combination of complementary immunological, MS-based and functional methods or on suitable functional in vivo/in vitro approaches (mouse bioassay, hemidiaphragm assay and Endopep-MS assay). Quantification of BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/E was performed by 48% of participating laboratories. It turned out that precise quantification of BoNT was difficult, resulting in a substantial scatter of quantitative data. This was especially true for results obtained by the mouse bioassay which is currently considered as "gold standard" for BoNT detection. The results clearly demonstrate the urgent need for certified BoNT reference materials and the development of methods replacing animal testing. In this context, the BoNT PT provided the valuable information that both the Endopep-MS assay and the hemidiaphragm assay delivered quantitative results superior to the mouse bioassay.

  11. Computer-aided lead optimization: improved small-molecule inhibitor of the zinc endopeptidase of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Tang

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Optimization of a serotype-selective, small-molecule inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNTA endopeptidase is a formidable challenge because the enzyme-substrate interface is unusually large and the endopeptidase itself is a large, zinc-binding protein with a complex fold that is difficult to simulate computationally. We conducted multiple molecular dynamics simulations of the endopeptidase in complex with a previously described inhibitor (K(i (app of 7+/-2.4 microM using the cationic dummy atom approach. Based on our computational results, we hypothesized that introducing a hydroxyl group to the inhibitor could improve its potency. Synthesis and testing of the hydroxyl-containing analog as a BoNTA endopeptidase inhibitor showed a twofold improvement in inhibitory potency (K(i (app of 3.8+/-0.8 microM with a relatively small increase in molecular weight (16 Da. The results offer an improved template for further optimization of BoNTA endopeptidase inhibitors and demonstrate the effectiveness of the cationic dummy atom approach in the design and optimization of zinc protease inhibitors.

  12. Involvement of Lipid Metabolism in the Action of Phospholipase A2 Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-04-15

    39 The effects of N. n. kaouthia CTX on free fatty acid and diacylglycerol in the C2 C1 2 mouse muscle myoblast ......... 40 The...effects of N. n. kaouthia CTX on free fatty acid and diacylglycerol in human muscle primary cultures ........... 40 Hydrolysis of cellular phospholipids...lysophosphatidylcholine; NL, neutral lipid; PA, phosphatidic acid ; PC, phosphatidylcholine; PE, phosphatidylethanolamine; PI, phosphatidylinositol; PL

  13. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillipelli, Gabriel M.; Risch, Martin R.; Laidlaw, Mark A. S.; Nichols, Deborah E.; Crewe, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between environmental processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are poorly studied, yet may pose a significant threat to population health.

  14. Hydrogen peroxide-mediated neuronal cell death induced by an endogenous neurotoxin, 3-hydroxykynurenine.

    OpenAIRE

    Okuda, S; Nishiyama, N.; Saito, H.; Katsuki, H

    1996-01-01

    3-Hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) is a tryptophan metabolite whose level in the brain is markedly elevated under several pathological conditions, including Huntington disease and human immunodeficiency virus infection. Here we demonstrate that micromolar concentrations (1-100 microM) of 3-HK cause cell death in primary neuronal cultures prepared from rat striatum. The neurotoxicity of 3-HK was blocked by catalase and desferrioxamine but not by superoxide dismutase, indicating that the generation of ...

  15. Regulation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Synthesis and Toxin Complex Formation by Arginine and Glucose in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrick, Chase M; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A

    2017-07-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by neurotoxigenic clostridia, is the most potent biological toxin known and the causative agent of the paralytic disease botulism. The nutritional, environmental, and genetic regulation of BoNT synthesis, activation, stability, and toxin complex (TC) formation is not well studied. Previous studies indicated that growth and BoNT formation were affected by arginine and glucose in Clostridium botulinum types A and B. In the present study, C. botulinum ATCC 3502 was grown in toxin production medium (TPM) with different levels of arginine and glucose and of three products of arginine metabolism, citrulline, proline, and ornithine. Cultures were analyzed for growth (optical density at 600 nm [OD 600 ]), spore formation, and BoNT and TC formation by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation and for BoNT activity by mouse bioassay. A high level of arginine (20 g/liter) repressed BoNT production approximately 1,000-fold, enhanced growth, slowed lysis, and reduced endospore production by greater than 1,000-fold. Similar effects on toxin production were seen with equivalent levels of citrulline but not ornithine or proline. In TPM lacking glucose, levels of formation of BoNT/A1 and TC were significantly decreased, and extracellular BoNT and TC proteins were partially inactivated after the first day of culture. An understanding of the regulation of C. botulinum growth and BoNT and TC formation should be valuable in defining requirements for BoNT formation in foods and clinical samples, improving the quality of BoNT for pharmaceutical preparations, and elucidating the biological functions of BoNTs for the bacterium. IMPORTANCE Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a major food safety and bioterrorism concern and is also an important pharmaceutical, and yet the regulation of its synthesis, activation, and stability in culture media, foods, and clinical samples is not well understood. This paper provides insights into the effects of critical

  16. Characterization of monomeric and multimeric snake neurotoxins and other bioactive proteins from the venom of the lethal Australian common copperhead (Austrelaps superbus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcon, Francesca; Purtell, Louise; Santos, Jerran; Hains, Peter G; Escoubas, Pierre; Graudins, Andis; Nicholson, Graham M

    2013-05-15

    Envenomation by Australian copperheads results mainly in muscle paralysis largely attributed to the presence of postsynaptic α-neurotoxins. However, poorly reversible neurotoxic effects suggest that these venoms may contain snake presynaptic phospholipase A2 neurotoxins (SPANs) that irreversibly inhibit neurotransmitter release. Using size-exclusion liquid chromatography, the present study isolated the first multimeric SPAN complex from the venom of the Australian common copperhead, Austrelaps superbus. The multimeric SPAN P-elapitoxin-As1a (P-EPTX-As1a) along with two novel monomeric SPANs and a new postsynaptic α-neurotoxin were then pharmacologically characterized using the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. All SPANs inhibited nerve-evoked twitch contractions at the neuromuscular junction without inhibiting contractile responses to cholinergic agonists or KCl. These actions are consistent with a prejunctional action to inhibit neurotransmitter release, without direct myotoxicity. Furthermore, the multimeric P-EPTX-As1a caused tetanic 'fade' in muscle tension under high frequency nerve stimulation, and produced a triphasic alteration to neurotransmitter release. These actions have been previously noted with other multimeric SPAN complexes such as taipoxin. Moreover, the neurotoxic α-subunit of P-EPTX-As1a shows high homology to taipoxin α-chain. Several other coagulopathic and myotoxic high mass proteins including a class PIII snake venom metalloproteinase, C-type lectin, l-amino acid oxidase, acetylcholinesterase and phospholipase B were also identified that may contribute to the overall toxicity of A. superbus venom. In conclusion, clinicians should be aware that early antivenom intervention might be necessary to prevent the onset of irreversible presynaptic neurotoxicity caused by multimeric and monomeric SPANs and that A. superbus venom is potentially capable of producing coagulopathic and myotoxic effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc

  17. Evolution of an ancient venom: recognition of a novel family of cnidarian toxins and the common evolutionary origin of sodium and potassium neurotoxins in sea anemone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Sunagar, Kartik; Federman Gross, Aya; Scheib, Holger; Alewood, Paul F; Moran, Yehu; Fry, Bryan G

    2015-06-01

    Despite Cnidaria (sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, and hydroids) being the oldest venomous animal lineage, structure-function relationships, phyletic distributions, and the molecular evolutionary regimes of toxins encoded by these intriguing animals are poorly understood. Hence, we have comprehensively elucidated the phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary histories of pharmacologically characterized cnidarian toxin families, including peptide neurotoxins (voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channel-targeting toxins: NaTxs and KTxs, respectively), pore-forming toxins (actinoporins, aerolysin-related toxins, and jellyfish toxins), and the newly discovered small cysteine-rich peptides (SCRiPs). We show that despite long evolutionary histories, most cnidarian toxins remain conserved under the strong influence of negative selection-a finding that is in striking contrast to the rapid evolution of toxin families in evolutionarily younger lineages, such as cone snails and advanced snakes. In contrast to the previous suggestions that implicated SCRiPs in the biomineralization process in corals, we demonstrate that they are potent neurotoxins that are likely involved in the envenoming function, and thus represent the first family of neurotoxins from corals. We also demonstrate the common evolutionary origin of type III KTxs and NaTxs in sea anemones. We show that type III KTxs have evolved from NaTxs under the regime of positive selection, and likely represent a unique evolutionary innovation of the Actinioidea lineage. We report a correlation between the accumulation of episodically adaptive sites and the emergence of novel pharmacological activities in this rapidly evolving neurotoxic clade. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Light chain separated from the rest of the type a botulinum neurotoxin molecule is the most catalytically active form.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizamettin Gul

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are the most potent of all toxins. The 50 kDa N-terminal endopeptidase catalytic light chain (LC of BoNT is located next to its central, putative translocation domain. After binding to the peripheral neurons, the central domain of BoNT helps the LC translocate into cytosol where its proteolytic action on SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor proteins blocks exocytosis of acetyl choline leading to muscle paralysis and eventual death. The translocation domain also contains 105 Å -long stretch of ∼100 residues, known as "belt," that crosses over and wraps around the LC to shield the active site from solvent. It is not known if the LC gets dissociated from the rest of the molecule in the cytosol before catalysis. To investigate the structural identity of the protease, we prepared four variants of type A BoNT (BoNT/A LC, and compared their catalytic parameters with those of BoNT/A whole toxin. The four variants were LC + translocation domain, a trypsin-nicked LC + translocation domain, LC + belt, and a free LC. Our results showed that K(m for a 17-residue SNAP-25 (synaptosomal associated protein of 25 kDa peptide for these constructs was not very different, but the turnover number (k(cat for the free LC was 6-100-fold higher than those of its four variants. Moreover, none of the four variants of the LC was prone to autocatalysis. Our results clearly demonstrated that in vitro, the LC minus the rest of the molecule is the most catalytically active form. The results may have implication as to the identity of the active, toxic moiety of BoNT/A in vivo.

  19. Long-term effects of repeated intradetrusor botulinum neurotoxin A injections on detrusor function in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannek, Jürgen; Göcking, Konrad; Bersch, Ulf

    2009-11-01

    To evaluate the influence of repeated botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) treatments on detrusor function in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (DOA) due to spinal cord lesions. In a retrospective study, urodynamic evaluations of 27 consecutive patients with neurogenic DOA due to spinal cord lesions who received at least five BoNT-A treatments were analysed. After the first BoNT-A treatment, bladder capacity, reflex volume, continence status and detrusor compliance were significantly improved and maximum detrusor pressure (P(detmax)) was significantly reduced. The mean number of BoNT-A treatments was 7.1. Compared with the results of the first treatment, the incontinence rate (seven patients) and the number of patients with an elevated P(detmax) (five patients) were slightly increased after the final BoNT-A treatment. The long-term success rate was 74%. Every fourth patient needed a major surgical intervention. There was a significant decrease in P(detmax) before BoNT-A treatments, indicating that detrusor contraction strength did not completely recover after treatment. Our study confirmed the long-term efficacy of repeated BoNT-A treatments in patients with neurogenic DOA. However, in long-term follow-up, every fourth patient required surgical interventions. Moreover, our data give the first hint that BoNT-A may lead to impaired detrusor contraction strength, which could influence future treatment options. Prospective studies are necessary to elucidate the impact of repeated BoNT-A treatments on detrusor function and the interactions with future treatment options.

  20. Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits stem cell-derived neuron networks prior to network silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip H Beske

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are extremely potent toxins that specifically cleave SNARE proteins in peripheral synapses, preventing neurotransmitter release. Neuronal responses to BoNT intoxication are traditionally studied by quantifying SNARE protein cleavage in vitro or monitoring physiological paralysis in vivo. Consequently, the dynamic effects of intoxication on synaptic behaviors are not well understood. We have reported that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs are highly sensitive to BoNT based on molecular readouts of intoxication. Here we study the time-dependent changes in synapse- and network-level behaviors following addition of BoNT/A to spontaneously active networks of glutamatergic and GABAergic ESNs. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings indicated that BoNT/A rapidly blocked synaptic neurotransmission, confirming that ESNs replicate the functional pathophysiology responsible for clinical botulism. Quantitation of spontaneous neurotransmission in pharmacologically isolated synapses revealed accelerated silencing of GABAergic synapses compared to glutamatergic synapses, which was consistent with the selective accumulation of cleaved SNAP-25 at GAD1+ presynaptic terminals at early timepoints. Different latencies of intoxication resulted in complex network responses to BoNT/A addition, involving rapid disinhibition of stochastic firing followed by network silencing. Synaptic activity was found to be highly sensitive to SNAP-25 cleavage, reflecting the functional consequences of the localized cleavage of the small subpopulation of SNAP-25 that is engaged in neurotransmitter release in the nerve terminal. Collectively these findings illustrate that use of synaptic function assays in networked neurons cultures offers a novel and highly sensitive approach for mechanistic studies of toxin:neuron interactions and synaptic responses to BoNT.

  1. Nuclear magnetic resonance study of the solution properties of the polypeptide neurotoxin I from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norton, R.S.; Cossins, A.I.; Kem, W.R. (Univ. of New South Wales, Kensington (Australia))

    1989-02-21

    The solution properties of the polypeptide neurotoxin I from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus (Sh I) have been investigated by high-resolution H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy at 300 MHz. The pH dependence of the spectra has been examined over the range 1.1-12.2 at 27{degree}C. Individual pK{sub a} values have been obtained for the {alpha}-ammonium group of Ala-1 (8.6) and the side chains of Glu-8 (3.7), Tyr-36 (10.9), and Tyr-37 (10.8). For the remaining seven carboxyl groups in the molecule, four pK{sub a} values can be clearly identified. The five Lys residues titrate in the range 10.5-11, but individual pK{sub a} values could not be obtained because of peak overlap. Conformational changes associated with the protonation of carboxylates occur below pH 4, while in the alkaline pH range major unfolding occurs above pH 10. The molecule also unfolds at elevated temperatures. Exchange of the backbone amide protons has been monitored at various values of pH and temperature in the ranges pH 4-5 and 12-27{degree}C. Comparison of these properties of Sh I in solution with those of the related polypeptides anthopleurin A and Anemonia sulcata toxins I and II indicates that Sh I is less stable thermally and that there are some significant differences in the ionic interactions that maintain the tertiary structure. The solvent accessibility of aromatic residues has been probed with photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization NMR at 360 MHz.

  2. Amino acid sequence and chemical modification of a novel alpha-neurotoxin (Oh-5) from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, S R; Leu, L F; Chang, L S; Chang, C C

    1997-04-01

    A novel alpha-neurotoxin, Oh-5, was isolated from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom and purified by successive SP-Sephadex C-25 column chromatography and reversed-phase HPLC. The complete sequence of Oh-5 was determined by Edman degradation of peptide fragments generated by endopeptidases, i.e., trypsin, Saccharomyces aureus V8 protease and lysyl endopeptidase. This novel toxin comprises 72 amino acid residues with 10 cysteines. The sequence shows 89% sequence homology with Oh-4, and 60% with Toxins a and b from the same venom. The tyrosine, tryptophan, lysine and arginine residues in Oh-5 were modified with tetranitromethane (TNM), 2-nitrophenylsulfenyl (NPS) chloride, trinitrobenzene sulfonate (TNBS), and p-hydroxyphenylglyoxal (HPG), respectively. Modification of Tyr-4 or Trp-27 did not affect the lethal toxicity at all, while the Tyr-4 and 23 nitrated derivative retained about 50% of the lethality of native toxin. Selective trinitrophenylation of Lys-51 or 69 resulted in a decrease in lethality by 29%, and 50% lethality was retained after modification of Lys-2, 51, and 69. A drastic decrease in lethality to 26% was observed when both Arg-35 and 37 were modified. The neurotoxicity was further decreased when Arg-9 was additionally modified. These results suggest that the aromatic residues, Tyr-4 and Trp-27, are not crucial for the neurotoxicity, whereas the cationic residues are involved in multipoint contact between the toxin molecule and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). The residues Tyr-23 and Arg-35 and 37 in the central loop of Oh-5 seem to contribute greatly to the neurotoxicity.

  3. The C Terminus of the Catalytic Domain of Type A Botulinum Neurotoxin May Facilitate Product Release from the Active Site*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizanur, Rahman M.; Frasca, Verna; Swaminathan, Subramanyam; Bavari, Sina; Webb, Robert; Smith, Leonard A.; Ahmed, S. Ashraf

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are the most toxic of all compounds. The toxicity is related to a poor zinc endopeptidase activity located in a 50-kDa domain known as light chain (Lc) of the toxin. The C-terminal tail of Lc is not visible in any of the currently available x-ray structures, and it has no known function but undergoes autocatalytic truncations during purification and storage. By synthesizing C-terminal peptides of various lengths, in this study, we have shown that these peptides competitively inhibit the normal catalytic activity of Lc of serotype A (LcA) and have defined the length of the mature LcA to consist of the first 444 residues. Two catalytically inactive mutants also inhibited LcA activity. Our results suggested that the C terminus of LcA might interact at or near its own active site. By using synthetic C-terminal peptides from LcB, LcC1, LcD, LcE, and LcF and their respective substrate peptides, we have shown that the inhibition of activity is specific only for LcA. Although a potent inhibitor with a Ki of 4.5 μm, the largest of our LcA C-terminal peptides stimulated LcA activity when added at near-stoichiometric concentration to three versions of LcA differing in their C-terminal lengths. The result suggested a product removal role of the LcA C terminus. This suggestion is supported by a weak but specific interaction determined by isothermal titration calorimetry between an LcA C-terminal peptide and N-terminal product from a peptide substrate of LcA. Our results also underscore the importance of using a mature LcA as an inhibitor screening target. PMID:23779108

  4. The Peptide Network between Tetanus Toxin and Human Proteins Associated with Epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guglielmo Lucchese

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sequence matching analyses show that Clostridium tetani neurotoxin shares numerous pentapeptides (68, including multiple occurrences with 42 human proteins that, when altered, have been associated with epilepsy. Such a peptide sharing is higher than expected, nonstochastic, and involves tetanus toxin-derived epitopes that have been validated as immunopositive in the human host. Of note, an unexpected high level of peptide matching is found in mitogen-activated protein kinase 10 (MK10, a protein selectively expressed in hippocampal areas. On the whole, the data indicate a potential for cross-reactivity between the neurotoxin and specific epilepsy-associated proteins and may help evaluate the potential risk for epilepsy following immune responses induced by tetanus infection. Moreover, this study may contribute to clarifying the etiopathogenesis of the different types of epilepsy.

  5. Diatoms: A Novel Source for the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lage, Sandra; Jonasson, Sara; Shams, Shiva; Mehine, Martin; Ilag, Leopold L.; Rasmussen, Ulla

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurological disorder linked to environmental exposure to a non-protein amino acid, β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). The only organisms reported to be BMAA-producing, are cyanobacteria – prokaryotic organisms. In this study, we demonstrate that diatoms – eukaryotic organisms – also produce BMAA. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry revealed the occurrence of BMAA in six investigated axenic diatom cultures. BMAA was also detected in planktonic field samples collected on the Swedish west coast that display an overrepresentation of diatoms relative to cyanobacteria. Given the ubiquity of diatoms in aquatic environments and their central role as primary producers and the main food items of zooplankton, the use of filter and suspension feeders as livestock fodder dramatically increases the risk of human exposure to BMAA-contaminated food. PMID:24392143

  6. Hydrogen peroxide-mediated neuronal cell death induced by an endogenous neurotoxin, 3-hydroxykynurenine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, S; Nishiyama, N; Saito, H; Katsuki, H

    1996-10-29

    3-Hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) is a tryptophan metabolite whose level in the brain is markedly elevated under several pathological conditions, including Huntington disease and human immunodeficiency virus infection. Here we demonstrate that micromolar concentrations (1-100 microM) of 3-HK cause cell death in primary neuronal cultures prepared from rat striatum. The neurotoxicity of 3-HK was blocked by catalase and desferrioxamine but not by superoxide dismutase, indicating that the generation of hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical is involved in the toxicity. Measurement of peroxide levels revealed that 3-HK caused intracellular accumulation of peroxide, which was largely attenuated by application of catalase. The peroxide accumulation and cell death caused by 1-10 microM 3-HK were also blocked by pretreatment with allopurinol or oxypurinol, suggesting that endogenous xanthine oxidase activity is involved in exacerbation of 3-HK neurotoxicity. Furthermore, NADPH diaphorase-containing neurons were spared from toxicity of these concentrations of 3-HK, a finding reminiscent of the pathological characteristics of several neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington disease. These results suggest that 3-HK at pathologically relevant concentrations renders neuronal cells subject to oxidative stress leading to cell death, and therefore that this endogenous compound should be regarded as an important factor in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.

  7. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  8. Improvement in laboratory diagnosis of wound botulism and tetanus among injecting illicit-drug users by use of real-time PCR assays for neurotoxin gene fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbulut, D; Grant, K A; McLauchlin, J

    2005-09-01

    An upsurge in wound infections due to Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani among users of illegal injected drugs (IDUs) occurred in the United Kingdom during 2003 and 2004. A real-time PCR assay was developed to detect a fragment of the neurotoxin gene of C. tetani (TeNT) and was used in conjunction with previously described assays for C. botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, and E (BoNTA, -B, and -E). The assays were sensitive, specific, rapid to perform, and applicable to investigating infections among IDUs using DNA extracted directly from wound tissue, as well as bacteria growing among mixed microflora in enrichment cultures and in pure culture on solid media. A combination of bioassay and PCR test results confirmed the clinical diagnosis in 10 of 25 cases of suspected botulism and two of five suspected cases of tetanus among IDUs. The PCR assays were in almost complete agreement with the conventional bioassays when considering results from different samples collected from the same patient. The replacement of bioassays by real-time PCR for the isolation and identification of both C. botulinum and C. tetani demonstrates a sensitivity and specificity similar to those of conventional approaches. However, the real-time PCR assays substantially improves the diagnostic process in terms of the speed of results and by the replacement of experimental animals. Recommendations are given for an improved strategy for the laboratory investigation of suspected wound botulism and tetanus among IDUs.

  9. Assessment: Botulinum neurotoxin for the treatment of movement disorders (an evidence-based review): report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, D M; Blitzer, A; Brashear, A; Comella, C; Dubinsky, R; Hallett, M; Jankovic, J; Karp, B; Ludlow, C L; Miyasaki, J M; Naumann, M; So, Y

    2008-05-06

    To perform an evidence-based review of the safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in the treatment of movement disorders. A literature search was performed including MEDLINE and Current Contents for therapeutic articles relevant to BoNT and selected movement disorders. Authors reviewed, abstracted, and classified articles based on American Academy of Neurology criteria (Class I-IV). The highest quality literature available for the respective indications was as follows: blepharospasm (two Class II studies); hemifacial spasm (one Class II and one Class III study); cervical dystonia (seven Class I studies); focal upper extremity dystonia (one Class I and three Class II studies); focal lower extremity dystonia (one Class II study); laryngeal dystonia (one Class I study); motor tics (one Class II study); and upper extremity essential tremor (two Class II studies). Botulinum neurotoxin should be offered as a treatment option for the treatment of cervical dystonia (Level A), may be offered for blepharospasm, focal upper extremity dystonia, adductor laryngeal dystonia, and upper extremity essential tremor (Level B), and may be considered for hemifacial spasm, focal lower limb dystonia, and motor tics (Level C). While clinicians' practice may suggest stronger recommendations in some of these indications, evidence-based conclusions are limited by the availability of data.

  10. Extracellular microvesicle production by human eosinophils activated by “inflammatory” stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Praveen Akuthota

    2016-10-01

    responses. The contribution of the eosinophil-derived MVs to the regulation of immune responses awaits further investigation.

  11. Catalytic Features of the Botulinum Neurotoxin A Light Chain Revealed by High Resolution Structure of an Inhibitory Peptide Complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvaggi,N.; Wilson, D.; Tzipori, S.; Allen, K.

    2008-01-01

    The Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A light chain (BoNT/A-LC) is a Zn(II)-dependent metalloprotease that blocks the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction by cleaving SNAP-25, one of the SNARE proteins required for exocytosis. Because of the potential for use of the toxin in bioterrorism and the increasingly widespread application of the toxin in the medical field, there is significant interest in the development of small-molecule inhibitors of the metalloprotease. Efforts to design such inhibitors have not benefited from knowledge of how peptides bind to the active site since the enzyme-peptide structures available previously either were not occupied in the vicinity of the catalytic Zn(II) ion or did not represent the product of SNAP-25 substrate cleavage. Herein we report the 1.4 Angstroms-resolution X-ray crystal structure of a complex between the BoNT/A-LC and the inhibitory peptide N-Ac-CRATKML, the first structure of the light chain with an inhibitory peptide bound at the catalytic Zn(II) ion. The peptide is bound with the Cys S? atom coordinating the metal ion. Surprisingly, the cysteine sulfur is oxidized to the sulfenic acid form. Given the unstable nature of this species in solution, is it likely that oxidation occurs on the enzyme. In addition to the peptide-bound structure, we report two structures of the unliganded light chain with and without the Zn(II) cofactor bound at 1.25 and 1.20 Angstroms resolution, respectively. The two structures are nearly identical, confirming that the Zn(II) ion plays a purely catalytic role. Additionally, the structure of the Zn(II)-bound uncomplexed enzyme allows identification of the catalytic water molecule and a second water molecule that occupies the same position as the peptidic oxygen in the tetrahedral intermediate. This observation suggests that the enzyme active site is prearranged to stabilize the tetrahedral intermediate of the protease reaction.

  12. Spinal central effects of peripherally applied botulinum neurotoxin A in comparison between its subtypes A1 and A2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetaka eKoizumi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Because of its unique ability to exert long-lasting synaptic transmission blockade, botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A is used to treat a wide variety of disorders involving peripheral nerve terminal hyperexcitability. However, it has been a matter of debate whether this toxin has central or peripheral sites of action. We employed a rat model in which BoNT/A1 or BoNT/A2 was unilaterally injected into the gastrocnemius muscle. On time-course measurements of compound muscle action potential (CMAP amplitudes after injection of BoNT/A1 or BoNT/A2 at doses ranging from 1.7 U to 13.6 U, CMAP amplitude for the ipsilateral hind leg was markedly decreased on the 1st day, and this muscle flaccidity persisted up to the 14th day. Of note, both BoNT/A1 and BoNT/A2 administrations also resulted in decreased CMAP amplitudes for the contralateral leg in a dose-dependent manner ranging from 1.7 to 13.6 U, and this muscle flaccidity increased until the 4th day and then slowly recovered. Immunohistochemical results revealed that BoNT/A-cleaved SNAP-25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa appeared in the bilateral ventral and dorsal horns 4 days after injection of BoNT/A1 (10 U or BoNT/A2 (10 U, although there seemed to be a wider spread of BoNT/A-cleaved SNAP-25 associated with BoNT/A1 than BoNT/A2 in the contralateral spinal cord. This suggests that the catalytically active BoNT/A1 and BoNT/A2 were axonally transported via peripheral motor and sensory nerves to the spinal cord, where they spread through a transcytosis (cell-to-cell trafficking mechanism. Our results provide evidence for the central effects of intramuscularly administered BoNT/A1 and BoNT/A2 in the spinal cord, and a new insight into the clinical effects of peripheral BoNT/A applications.

  13. Sublingual immunization with adenovirus F protein-based vaccines stimulates protective immunity against botulinum neurotoxin A intoxication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, SangMu; Clapp, Beata; Zlotkowska, Dagmara; Hoyt, Teri; Holderness, Kathryn; Maddaloni, Massimo

    2012-01-01

    Sublingual (s.l.) vaccination is an efficient way to induce elevated levels of systemic and mucosal immune responses. To mediate mucosal uptake, ovalbumin (OVA) was genetically fused to adenovirus 2 fiber protein (OVA-Ad2F) to assess whether s.l. immunization was as effective as an alternative route of vaccination. Ad2F-delivered vaccines were efficiently taken up by dendritic cells and migrated mostly to submaxillary gland lymph nodes, which could readily stimulate OVA-specific CD4+ T cells. OVA-Ad2F + cholera toxin (CT)-immunized mice elicited significantly higher OVA-specific serum IgG, IgA and mucosal IgA antibodies among the tested immunization groups. These were supported by elevated OVA-specific IgG and IgA antibody-forming cells. A mixed Th-cell response was induced as evident by the enhanced IL-4, IL-10, IFN-γ and TNF-α-specific cytokine-forming cells. To assess whether this approach can stimulate neutralizing antibodies, immunizations were performed with the protein encumbering the β-trefoil domain of C-terminus heavy chain (Hcβtre) from botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) as well as when fused to Ad2F. Hcβtre-Ad2F + CT-dosed mice showed the greatest serum IgG, IgA and mucosal IgA titers among the immunization groups. Hcβtre-Ad2F alone also induced elevated antibody production in contrast to Hcβtre alone. Plasma from Hcβtre + CT- and Hcβtre-Ad2F + CT-immunized groups neutralized BoNT/A and protected mice from BoNT/A intoxication. Most importantly, Hcβtre-Ad2F + CT-immunized mice were protected from BoNT/A intoxication relative to Hcβtre + CT-immunized mice, which only showed ∼60% protection. This study shows that s.l. immunization with Ad2F-based vaccines is effective in conferring protective immunity. PMID:22207133

  14. Structure of peptide fragments of a cross-linked complex of [Lys(Abz){sup 26}]neurotoxin II from Naja naja oxiana with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Utkin, Yu.N.; Machold, J.; Franke, P. [M.M. Shemyakin and Yu.A. Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Moscow (Russian Federation)] [and others

    1994-09-10

    After irradiation of a complex of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) with iodinated [Lys(Abz){sup 26}]neurotoxin II, the labeled {delta}-subunit of AChR was isolated, and it was cleaved with the aid of LysC endoproteinase, the hydrolysate being separated by rfHPLC. In a mass-spectrometric analysis of the radioactive fraction, the peptide of the {delta}-subunit (M{sub r} 2593) was detected. By purification of the radioactive rfHPLC fraction with the aid of electrophoresis in tricine gel, three radioactive bands were obtained (M {approximately} 16, 10, and 8 kDa). Edman degradation gave for all of them the sequence of a fragment of the {delta}-subunit beginning from Phe{sup 148}. On further cleavage of the radioactive fraction within the gel by the action of AspN proteinase, followed by rfHPLC, the radioactive peak was eluted under conditions close to those for the elution of the single radioactive peptide 30-44 obtained by the successive cleavage of the [{sup 125}I] neurotoxin II by LysC/AspN proteinases. This result shows the presence of the corresponding neurotoxin fragment in the sample in which the above-mentioned sequence of the receptor was detected. Since no sequences of the neurotoxin were detected in the radioactive products of the cross-linkages in model experiments at the picomolar level, neurotoxin II and its fragments were investigated by Edman degradation at the picomole level and so was the influence of the p-azidobenzyl group and its photoactivation on the degradation. On the whole, the sequencing of neurotoxin II and its fragments containing photolabeled and iodinated residues took place with extremely low initial yields; a further fall in the yields was observed on the degradation of irradiated Lys{sup 26}-peptides. The results obtained explain the difficulties in the detection of the sequences of the neurotoxin in cross-linkage products available in amounts of only 10-20 pmole.

  15. Functional influence of botulinum neurotoxin type A treatment (Xeomin® of multifocal upper and lower limb spasticity on chronic hemiparetic gait

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    Maurizio Falso

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the modification of hemiplegic shoulder pain and walking velocity through injections of Xeomin®, a new botulinum neurotoxin type A formulation, in a 67-year-old woman with chronic residual left hemiparesis and hemiparetic gait attributable to stroke. Clinical evaluation included upper and lower limb spasticity, upper and lower limb pain, trunk control, upper and lower limb motricity index, visual gait analysis, and gait velocity. Assessments were performed before, 1 week after, and 1 month after treatment. Improvement was observed in all clinical parameters assessed. Amelioration of spasticity of the upper and lower limbs and shoulder pain was observed after 1 month. Trunk postural attitude and paraxial muscle recruitment recovered. No adverse events were observed and the patient shows significant improvement of functional impairment derived from chronic spasticity after treatment with Xeomin®. We also provide a simple and useful protocol for clinical evaluation of the treatment.

  16. Three-dimensional database mining identifies a unique chemotype that unites structurally diverse botulinum neurotoxin serotype A inhibitors in a three-zone pharmacophore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermone, Ann R; Burnett, James C; Nuss, Jonathan E; Tressler, Lyal E; Nguyen, Tam L; Solaja, Bogdan A; Vennerstrom, Jonathan L; Schmidt, James J; Wipf, Peter; Bavari, Sina; Gussio, Rick

    2008-12-01

    A search query consisting of two aromatic centers and two cationic centers was defined based on previously identified small molecule inhibitors of the botulinum neurotoxin serotype A light chain (BoNT/A LC) and used to mine the National Cancer Institute Open Repository. Ten small molecule hits were identified, and upon testing, three demonstrated inhibitory activity. Of these, one was structurally unique, possessing a rigid diazachrysene scaffold. The steric limitations of the diazachrysene imposed a separation between the overlaps of previously identified inhibitors, revealing an extended binding mode. As a result, the pharmacophore for BoNT/A LC inhibition has been modified to encompass three zones. To demonstrate the utility of this model, a novel three-zone inhibitor was mined and its activity was confirmed.

  17. Binding sites and actions of Tx1, a neurotoxin from the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer, in guinea pig ileum

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    R.G. Santos

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Tx1, a neurotoxin isolated from the venom of the South American spider Phoneutria nigriventer, produces tail elevation, behavioral excitation and spastic paralysis of the hind limbs after intracerebroventricular injection in mice. Since Tx1 contracts isolated guinea pig ileum, we have investigated the effect of this toxin on acetylcholine release, as well as its binding to myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle membranes from the guinea pig ileum. [125I]-Tx1 binds specifically and with high affinity (Kd = 0.36 ± 0.02 nM to a single, non-interacting (nH = 1.1, low capacity (Bmax 1.1 pmol/mg protein binding site. In competition experiments using several compounds (including ion channel ligands, only PhTx2 and PhTx3 competed with [125I]-Tx1 for specific binding sites (K0.5 apparent = 7.50 x 10-4 g/l and 1.85 x 10-5 g/l, respectively. PhTx2 and PhTx3, fractions from P. nigriventer venom, contain toxins acting on sodium and calcium channels, respectively. However, the neurotoxin PhTx2-6, one of the isoforms found in the PhTx2 pool, did not affect [125I]-Tx1 binding. Tx1 reduced the [3H]-ACh release evoked by the PhTx2 pool by 33%, but did not affect basal or KCl-induced [3H]-ACh release. Based on these results, as well as on the homology of Tx1 with toxins acting on calcium channels (w-Aga IA and IB and its competition with [125I]-w-Cono GVIA in the central nervous system, we suggest that the target site for Tx1 may be calcium channels.

  18. Detection of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B at sub mouse LD(50 levels by a sandwich immunoassay and its application to toxin detection in milk.

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    Miles C Scotcher

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT, the causative agent of botulism, a serious neuroparylatic disease, is produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum and consists of a family of seven serotypes (A-H. We previously reported production of high-affinity monoclonal antibodies to BoNT serotype A.Recombinant peptide fragments of the light chain, the transmembrane and receptor-binding domains of the heavy chain of botulinum neurotoxin type B (BoNT/B were expressed in Escherichia coli as GST-fusion proteins and purified. These proteins were used to immunize BALB/cJ mice for the generation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs. Antibody-producing hybridomas were detected using either a direct binding ELISA binding to plate-immobilized BoNT/B, or with a capture-capture ELISA whereby the capacity of the antibody to capture BoNT/B from solution was tested. A total of five mAbs were selected, two of which bound the toxin light chain and three bound the receptor-binding domain of BoNT/B heavy chain. MAb MCS6-27 was identified via capture-capture ELISA and was the only mAb able to bind BoNT/B in solution under physiological conditions. MAbs F24-1, F26-16, F27-33 and F29-40 were identified via direct binding ELISA, and were able to capture BoNT/B in solution only in the presence of 0.5-0.9 mM sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS. MAb MCS6-27 and an anti-BoNT/B polyclonal antibody were incorporated into a sandwich ELISA that did not require SDS.We report here the generation of monoclonal antibodies to serotype B and the subsequent development of a sensitive sandwich immunoassay. This immunoassay has a detection limit of 100 fg BoNT/B, fifty times more sensitive than the mouse bioassay detection limit of 5 pg BoNT/B. Additionally, this assay detected as little as 39 pg/mL of toxin in skim, 2% and whole milk.

  19. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laustsen, Andreas H; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian; Rasmussen, Arne R; Fernández, Julián; Milbo, Christina; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    The venom proteome of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia, from Thailand, was characterized by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses, yielding 38 different proteins that were either identified or assigned to families. Estimation of relative protein abundances revealed that venom is dominated by three-finger toxins (77.5%; including 24.3% cytotoxins and 53.2% neurotoxins) and phospholipases A2 (13.5%). It also contains lower proportions of components belonging to nerve growth factor, ohanin/vespryn, cysteine-rich secretory protein, C-type lectin/lectin-like, nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, metalloproteinase, l-amino acid oxidase, cobra venom factor, and cytidyltransferase protein families. Small amounts of three nucleosides were also evidenced: adenosine, guanosine, and inosine. The most relevant lethal components, categorized by means of a 'toxicity score', were α-neurotoxins, followed by cytotoxins/cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential against N. kaouthia venom was therefore detected. Combined, our results display a high level of venom complexity, unveil the most relevant toxins to be neutralized, and provide prospects of discovering human IgGs with toxin neutralizing abilities through use of phage display screening. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Application of Purified Botulinum Type A Neurotoxin to Treat Experimental Trigeminal Neuropathy in Rats and Patients with Urinary Incontinence and Prostatic Hyperplasia

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    Yoshizo Matsuka

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Type A neurotoxin (NTX of Clostridium botulinum was purified by a simple procedure using a lactose gel column. The toxicity of this purified toxin preparation was retained for at least 1 year at −30°C by supplementation with either 0.1% albumin or 0.05% albumin plus 1% trehalose. When purified NTX was used to treat 49 patients with urinary incontinence caused by either refractory idiopathic or neurogenic detrusor overactivity, 36 patients showed significant improvement in symptoms. These beneficial effects were also observed in cases of prostatic hyperplasia. The results obtained with NTX were similar to that of Botox. The effects of NTX on trigeminal neuralgia induced by infraorbital nerve constriction (IoNC in rats were also studied. Trigeminal ganglion neurons from ipsilateral to IoNC exhibited significantly faster onset of FM4-64 release than sham-operated contralateral neurons. Intradermal injection of NTX in the area of IoNC alleviated IoNC-induced pain behavior and reduced the exaggerated FM4-64 release in trigeminal ganglion neurons.

  1. Identification of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a protein receptor for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A.

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    Birgitte P S Jacky

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A causes transient muscle paralysis by entering motor nerve terminals (MNTs where it cleaves the SNARE protein Synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP25206 to yield SNAP25197. Cleavage of SNAP25 results in blockage of synaptic vesicle fusion and inhibition of the release of acetylcholine. The specific uptake of BoNT/A into pre-synaptic nerve terminals is a tightly controlled multistep process, involving a combination of high and low affinity receptors. Interestingly, the C-terminal binding domain region of BoNT/A, HC/A, is homologous to fibroblast growth factors (FGFs, making it a possible ligand for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs. Here we present data supporting the identification of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a high affinity receptor for BoNT/A in neuronal cells. HC/A binds with high affinity to the two extra-cellular loops of FGFR3 and acts similar to an agonist ligand for FGFR3, resulting in phosphorylation of the receptor. Native ligands for FGFR3; FGF1, FGF2, and FGF9 compete for binding to FGFR3 and block BoNT/A cellular uptake. These findings show that FGFR3 plays a pivotal role in the specific uptake of BoNT/A across the cell membrane being part of a larger receptor complex involving ganglioside- and protein-protein interactions.

  2. Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injections Influence Stretching of the Gastrocnemius Muscle-Tendon Unit in an Animal Model

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    Christopher J. Tuohy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A injections have been used for the treatment of muscle contractures and spasticity. This study assessed the influence of (BoNT-A injections on passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Mouse gastrocnemius muscle (GC was injected with BoNT-A (n = 18 or normal saline (n = 18 and passive, non-destructive, in vivo load relaxation experimentation was performed to examine how the muscle-tendon unit behaves after chemical denervation with BoNT-A. Injection of BoNT-A impaired passive muscle recovery (15% vs. 35% recovery to pre-stretching baseline, p < 0.05 and decreased GC stiffness (0.531 ± 0.061 N/mm vs. 0.780 ± 0.037 N/mm, p < 0.05 compared to saline controls. The successful use of BoNT-A injections as an adjunct to physical therapy may be in part attributed to the disruption of the stretch reflex; thereby modulating in vivo passive muscle properties. However, it is also possible that BoNT-A injection may alter the structure of skeletal muscle; thus modulating the in vivo passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit.

  3. The venom of the fishing spider Dolomedes sulfurous contains various neurotoxins acting on voltage-activated ion channels in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fan; Li, Dan; Xu, Shiyan; He, Juan; Yu, Hai; Li, Jiayan; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2013-04-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous is a venomous spider distributed in the south of China and characterized with feeding on fish. The venom exhibits great diversity and contains hundreds of peptides as revealed by off-line RP-HPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. The venom peptides followed a triple-modal distribution, with 40.7% of peptides falling in the mass range of 1000-3000 Da, 25.6% peptides in the 7000-9000 Da range and 23.5% peptides in the 3000-5000 Da range. This distribution modal is rather different from these of peptides from other spider venoms analyzed. The venom could inhibit voltage-activated Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+) channels in rat DRG neurons as revealed by voltage-clamp analysis. Significantly, the venom exhibited inhibitory effects on TTX-R Na(+) and T-type Ca(2+) currents, suggesting that there exist both channel antagonists which might be valuable tools for investigation of both channels and drug development. Additionally, intrathoracically injection of venom could cause serve neurotoxic effects on zebrafish and death at higher concentrations. The LD50 value was calculated to be 28.8 μg/g body weight. Our results indicated that the venom of D. sulfurous contain diverse neurotoxins which serve to capture prey. Intensive studies will be necessary to investigate the structures and functions of specific peptides of the venom in the future. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Isolation, characterization, cloning and expression of an alpha-neurotoxin from the venom of the Mexican coral snake Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; López-Vera, Estuardo; Bénard-Valle, Melisa; Smith, Eric N; Zamudio, Fernando; de Roodt, Adolfo R; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro

    2013-05-01

    A new member of short chain α-neurotoxic protein family from venom of the Mexican coral snake, Micrurus laticollaris, was characterized. This protein, named MlatA1, possesses 61 amino acids with 8 conserved cysteine residues, sharing 30-91% sequence identity with other fully sequenced Micrurus toxins. MlatA1 (LD50i.v. = 0.064 mg/kg) antagonizes with both fetal and adult nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) as well as α-7 neuronal nAChR in a dose-dependent way. Specific rabbit anti-Mlat serum (titer higher than 18,000) does not show any protective ability against this toxin, nevertheless it was able to recognize protein bands in six out of twelve Micrurus venoms showing the existence of two distinct antigenic groups for α-neurotoxins in North American coral snakes species. The MlatA1 gene was cloned and used to produce recombinant toxin (rMlatA1) that was recognized by rabbit anti-native toxin but was depleted of toxic activity. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Fabrication of a Novel Highly Sensitive and Selective Immunosensor for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Based on an Effective Platform of Electrosynthesized Gold Nanodendrites/Chitosan Nanoparticles

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    Rahim Sorouri

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In this work, a novel nanocomposite consisting of electrosynthesized gold nanodendrites and chitosan nanoparticles (AuNDs/CSNPs has been prepared to fabricate an impedimetric immunosensor based on a screen printed carbon electrode (SPCE for the rapid and sensitive immunoassay of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A. BoNT/A polyclonal antibody was immobilized on the nanocomposite-modified SPCE for the signal amplification. The structure of the prepared nanocomposite was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry (CV, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS. The charge transfer resistance (RCT changes were used to detect BoNT/A as the specific immuno-interactions at the immunosensor surface that efficiently limited the electron transfer of Fe(CN63−/4− as a redox probe at pH = 7.4. A linear relationship was observed between the %∆RCT and the concentration logarithm of BoNT/A within the range of 0.2 to 230 pg·mL−1 with a detection limit (S/N = 3 of 0.15 pg·mL−1. The practical applicability of the proposed sensor was examined by evaluating the detection of BoNT/A in milk and serum samples with satisfactory recoveries. Therefore, the prepared immunosensor holds great promise for the fast, simple and sensitive detection of BoNT/A in various real samples.

  6. Functional impact of different muscle localization techniques for Botulinum neurotoxin A injections in clinical routine management of post-stroke spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeuner, Kirsten E; Knutzen, Arne; Kühl, Carina; Möller, Bettina; Hellriegel, Helge; Margraf, Nils G; Deuschl, Günther; Stolze, Henning

    2017-01-01

    Treatment options for spasticity include intramuscular botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) injections. Both ultrasound (US) or electromyographic (EMG) guided BoNT-A injections are employed to isolate muscles. To date, most studies have included patients naïve to BoNT-A or following a prolonged wash out phase. To determine the impact of US/EMG guided BoNT-A injections on function in outpatients with spasticity receiving an established re-injection regime. Thirty patients post-stroke were investigated in a single-blinded, randomized controlled trial using a cross-over design for the EMG and US and a parallel design for the control group. The Modified Ashworth (MAS), Disability Assessment (DAS), Quality of Life (EQ-5D), self-rating scale and Barthel Index were assessed pre- and post-BoNT-A injections of upper limb muscles by a to the injection technique blinded person. MAS improved in arm, finger and upper limb 4 weeks after BoNT-A treatment. The improvement showed no significant differences between the three injection techniques. Barthel Index, DAS and EQ-5D remained unchanged in all groups. This pilot study questions the impact of the instrumental guided injection techniques on everyday functionality in a routine clinical setting with established re-injection intervals. Larger trials are warranted with patients who are under long-term treatment on a regular basis.

  7. The Translocation Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Moderates the Propensity of the Catalytic Domain to Interact with Membranes at Acidic pH.

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    Anne Araye

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A is composed of three domains: a catalytic domain (LC, a translocation domain (HN and a receptor-binding domain (HC. Like most bacterial toxins BoNT/A is an amphitropic protein, produced in a soluble form that is able to interact, penetrate and/or cross a membrane to achieve its toxic function. During intoxication BoNT/A is internalized by the cell by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Then, LC crosses the membrane of the endocytic compartment and reaches the cytosol. This translocation is initiated by the low pH found in this compartment. It has been suggested that LC passes in an unfolded state through a transmembrane passage formed by HN. We report here that acidification induces no major conformational change in either secondary or tertiary structures of LC and HN of BoNT/A in solution. GdnHCl-induced denaturation experiments showed that the stability of LC and HN increases as pH drops, and that HN further stabilizes LC. Unexpectedly we found that LC has a high propensity to interact with and permeabilize anionic lipid bilayers upon acidification without the help of HN. This property is downplayed when LC is linked to HN. HN thus acts as a chaperone for LC by enhancing its stability but also as a moderator of the membrane interaction of LC.

  8. CHRONIC LYME DISEASE: SYMPTOMS, VISION AND A NEW APPROACH TO TREATMENT BASED ON A THEORY OF NEUROTOXIN-MEDIATED ILLNESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evidence suggests that the estuarine dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida, and/or morphologically related organisms (Pf-MRO) may release a toxin(s) which kills fish and adversely affects human health. The North Carolina study investigated the potential for persistent health effec...

  9. Purification of a neurotoxin from the venom of the 'armed spider' and synthesis of a radioactive probe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques]|[Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Renterghem, Catherine Van; Mori, Yasuo; Martin-Moutot, Nicole; Mansuelle, Pascal; Sampieri, Francois; Seagar, Michel [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques; Cordeiro, Marta Nascimento; Diniz, Carlos Ribeiro [FUNED - Fundacao Ezequiel Dias, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Lima, Maria Elena de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Lab. de Venenos e Toxinas Animais

    2002-07-01

    The venom of the 'armed spider', a South American spider from the genus Phoneutria contains several toxins that exert important biological effects. {omega}-Phonetoxin IIA ({omega}-PtxIIA) is a potent neurotoxin from this venom evoking flaccid paralysis and death after intracerebro-ventricular injection in mouse. This toxin blocks HVA calcium channels. Calcium channels have been shown to be important targets in neurological pathophysiology like ataxia and migraine. In order to shed more light on the mechanism of action of w-PtxIIA, we have purified this toxin to synthesize a radioactive probe. Crude venom was fractionated in three steps of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Spectrometric analysis of the purified fraction (causing flaccid paralysis) was recorded on a MALDI-TOF Perseptive Voyager Elite spectrometer and a 8363 kDa peptide was detected. After amino acid sequencing the purity of the peptide was confirmed and it was identified as {omega}-PtxIIA. {omega}-PtxIIA was radiolabeled with {sup 125} I using the lactoperoxidase as a oxidizing agent. The stability of the probe synthesized was verified by the binding studies on rat brain synaptosomal membranes. The specific and saturable binding of the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA to the membranes indicate that the iodine introduced in the toxin molecule did not interfere with its activity. Native {omega}-PtxIIA competed with the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA bound to the specific sites on synaptosomes (IC{sub 50}= 0.54 n M). In this paper we described a new and simpler purification protocol of the {omega}-PtxIIA and synthesized a probe that proved to be useful to study the mechanism of action of {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA. Selective toxins for calcium channel are very useful tools to the study of some neuronal pathophysiology. (author)

  10. Behavioral, Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of a Parkinson's Disease Mouse Model Using the Neurotoxin 2'-CH3-MPTP: A Novel Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herlinger, Alice Laschuk; Almeida, Agihane Rodrigues; Presti-Silva, Sarah Martins; Pereira, Evaldo Vitor; Andrich, Filipe; Pires, Rita Gomes Wanderley; Martins-Silva, Cristina

    2018-01-13

    The neurotoxin MPTP has long been used to create a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Indeed, several MPTP analogues have been developed, including 2'-CH3-MPTP, which was shown to induce nigrostriatal DA neuronal depletion more potently than MPTP. However, no study on behavioral and molecular alterations in response to 2'-CH3-MPTP has been carried out so far. In the present work, 2'-CH3-MPTP was administered to mice (2.5, 5.0 and 10 mg/kg per injection, once a day, 5 days) and histological, biochemical, molecular and behavioral alterations were evaluated. We show that, despite a dose-dependent-like pattern observed for nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal death and dopamine depletion, dose-specific alterations in dopamine metabolism and in the expression of dopaminergic neurotransmission-associated genes could be related to specific motor deficits elicited by the different doses tested. Interestingly, 2'-CH3-MPTP leads to increased DAT and MAO-B transcription, which could explain, respectively, its higher potency and the requirement of higher doses of MAO inhibitors to prevent nigrostriatal neuronal death when compared to MPTP. Also, perturbations in dopamine metabolism as well as possible alterations in dopamine bioavailability in the synaptic cleft were also identified and correlated with strength and ambulation deficits in response to specific doses. Overall, the present work brings new evidence supporting the distinct effects of 2'-CH3-MPTP when compared to its analogue MPTP. Moreover, our data highlight the utmost importance of a precise experimental design, as different administration regimens and doses yield different biochemical, molecular and behavioral alterations, which can be explored to study specific aspects of PD.

  11. Three-dimensional structure of the neurotoxin ATX Ia from Anemonia sulcata in aqueous solution determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, H; Billeter, M; Wüthrich, K

    1989-01-01

    With the aid of 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the three-dimensional structure in aqueous solution was determined for ATX Ia, which is a 46 residue polypeptide neurotoxin of the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata. The input for the structure calculations consisted of 263 distance constraints from nuclear Overhauser effects (NOE) and 76 vicinal coupling constants. For the structure calculation several new or ammended programs were used in a revised strategy consisting of five successive computational steps. First, the program HABAS was used for a complete search of all backbone and chi 1 conformations that are compatible with the intraresidual and sequential NMR constraints. Second, using the program DISMAN, we extended this approach to pentapeptides by extensive sampling of all conformations that are consistent with the local and medium-range NMR constraints. Both steps resulted in the definition of additional dihedral angle constraints and in stereospecific assignments for a number of beta-methylene groups. In the next two steps DISMAN was used to obtain a group of eight conformers that contain no significant residual violations of the NMR constraints or van der Waals contacts. Finally, these structures were subjected to restrained energy refinement with a modified version of the molecular mechanics module of AMBER, which in addition to the energy force field includes potentials for the NOE distance constraints and the dihedral angle constraints. The average of the pairwise minimal RMS distances between the resulting refined conformers calculated for the well defined molecular core, which contains the backbone atoms of 35 residues and 20 interior side chains, is 1.5 +/- 0.3 A. This core is formed by a four-stranded beta-sheet connected by two well-defined loops, and there is an additional flexible loop consisting of the eleven residues 8-18. The core of the protein is stabilized by three disulfide bridges, which are surrounded by hydrophobic residues

  12. 1H-n.m.r. study of the solution properties and secondary structure of neurotoxin III from the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, R S; Cross, K; Braach-Maksvytis, V; Wachter, E

    1993-07-15

    The solution properties, secondary structure and global fold of the 27-residue polypeptide neurotoxin III (ATX III), from the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata, have been investigated using high-resolution 1H-n.m.r. spectroscopy. Studies of the concentration dependence of the n.m.r. spectrum indicate that the molecule self-associates in the millimolar concentration range useable for n.m.r. analysis, the association being less pronounced at acidic pH values. The dependence on pH of association implies that electrostatic interactions play a role in this process, while the significant concentration-dependent shifts of the aromatic resonances of Tyr-7 and Trp-13 indicate that hydrophobic interactions also contribute. Individual pKa values have been determined for most ionizable groups in the molecule. Sequence-specific resonance assignments were obtained for all protons using a range of two-dimensional homonuclear-correlated and nuclear-Overhauser-effect (nOe) spectra. The secondary structure of the polypeptide was identified from sequential (i, i+1) and medium-range (i, i+2/3/4) nOe connectivities, NH to C alpha H coupling constants, C alpha H chemical shifts, and the location of slowly exchanging backbone-amide protons. ATX III contains no regular alpha-helix or beta-sheet, consisting instead of a network of reverse turns. nOe connectivities between half-cystine residues are consistent with the disulphide pairings 3-17, 4-11 and 6-22. ATX III has a well-defined structure and appears to lack the disordered loop which, in the longer sea anemone toxins (46-49 residues), may be part of the receptor-binding surface.

  13. Toxicosis by Plant Alkaloids in Humans and Animals in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Gonzalo J

    2015-12-11

    Due to its tropical location, chains of mountains, inter-Andean valleys, Amazon basin area, eastern plains and shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Colombia has many ecosystems and the second largest plant biodiversity in the world. Many plant species, both native and naturalized, are currently recognized as toxic for both animals and humans, and some of them are known to cause their toxic effects due to their alkaloid content. Among these, there are plants containing the hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, neurotoxins such as the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine and the piperidine alkaloids coniine and γ-coniceine and tropane alkaloids. Unfortunately, the research in toxic plants in Colombia is not nearly proportional to its plant biodiversity and the scientific information available is only very scarce. The present review aims at summarizing the scarce information about plant alkaloid toxicosis in animals and humans in Colombia.

  14. Development of an analytical procedure for quantifying the underivatized neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine in brain tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combes, Audrey; El Abdellaoui, Saïda; Vial, Jérome; Lagrange, Emmeline; Pichon, Valérie

    2014-07-01

    The cyanotoxin β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has received renewed attention as an environmental risk factor for sporadic cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (Nunn et al., Brain Res 410:375-379, 1987). The aim of the present study was to develop and to validate an analytical procedure that allows the quantification of native BMAA and of its natural isomer, 2,4 diaminobutyric acid (DAB), in brain tissues. An analytical procedure was previously reported by our group for the determination of underivatized BMAA in environmental samples. It included a step of sample clean-up by solid phase extraction (SPE) with a mixed-mode sorbent and the analyses were performed by LC/MS-MS using hydrophilic interaction chromatography and multiple reactions monitoring scan mode. As brain tissues have a higher lipid content, the crucial step of sample clean-up had been optimized by evaluating the efficiency of the addition of a liquid/liquid extraction step prior to the SPE procedure or alternatively, of washing steps to the SPE extraction procedure. The efficiency was checked by visualizing the complexity of the resulting chromatograms in LC/MS and their performance by using spiked brain samples. The optimized analytical procedure, including a washing step with cyclohexane to the SPE with a recovery yield close to 100%, was validated using the total error approach and allowed the quantification of BMAA in a concentration level ranging from 20 to 1,500 ng/g in brain samples. Finally, the feasibility of implementation of this procedure was verified in human brain samples from two patients who died of ALS.

  15. Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injected Ipsilaterally or Contralaterally into the Striatum in the Rat 6-OHDA Model of Unilateral Parkinson’s Disease Differently Affects Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica A. Antipova

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is one of the most frequent neurodegenerative disorders. The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leads to a disinhibition of cholinergic interneurons in the striatum. Pharmacotherapeutical strategies of PD-related hypercholinism have numerous adverse side effects. We previously showed that ipsilateral intrastriatal injections of 1 ng in unilaterally 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA-lesioned rats inhibit apomorphine-induced rotation behavior significantly up to 6 months. In this study, we extended the behavioral testing of ipsilateral botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A-injection and additionally investigated the impact of intrastriatal BoNT-A-injections contralateral to the 6-OHDA-lesioned hemisphere on the basal ganglia circuity and motor functions. We hypothesized that the interhemispheric differences of acetylcholine (ACh concentration seen in unilateral hemi-PD should be differentially and temporally influenced by the ipsilateral or contralateral injection of BoNT-A. Hemi-PD rats were injected with 1 ng BoNT-A or vehicle substance into either the ipsilateral or contralateral striatum 6 weeks after 6-OHDA-lesion and various behaviors were tested. In hemi-PD rats intrastriatal ipsilateral BoNT-A-injections significantly reduced apomorphine-induced rotations and increased amphetamine-induced rotations, but showed no significant improvement of forelimb usage and akinesia, lateralized sensorimotor integration and also no effect on spontaneous locomotor activity. However, intrastriatal BoNT-A-injections contralateral to the lesion led to a significant increase of the apomorphine-induced turning rate only 2 weeks after the treatment. The apomorphine-induced rotation rate decreases thereafter to a value below the initial rotation rate. Amphetamine-induced rotations were not significantly changed after BoNT-A-application in comparison to sham-treated animals. Forelimb usage was temporally improved by contralateral Bo

  16. Potent new small-molecule inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A endopeptidase developed by synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Ping Pang

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNTA causes a life-threatening neuroparalytic disease known as botulism. Current treatment for post exposure of BoNTA uses antibodies that are effective in neutralizing the extracellular toxin to prevent further intoxication but generally cannot rescue already intoxicated neurons. Effective small-molecule inhibitors of BoNTA endopeptidase (BoNTAe are desirable because such inhibitors potentially can neutralize the intracellular BoNTA and offer complementary treatment for botulism. Previously we reported a serotype-selective, small-molecule BoNTAe inhibitor with a K(i (app value of 3.8+/-0.8 microM. This inhibitor was developed by lead identification using virtual screening followed by computer-aided optimization of a lead with an IC(50 value of 100 microM. However, it was difficult to further improve the lead from micromolar to even high nanomolar potency due to the unusually large enzyme-substrate interface of BoNTAe. The enzyme-substrate interface area of 4,840 A(2 for BoNTAe is about four times larger than the typical protein-protein interface area of 750-1,500 A(2. Inhibitors must carry several functional groups to block the unusually large interface of BoNTAe, and syntheses of such inhibitors are therefore time-consuming and expensive. Herein we report the development of a serotype-selective, small-molecule, and competitive inhibitor of BoNTAe with a K(i value of 760+/-170 nM using synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design (SBCAMD. This new approach accounts the practicality and efficiency of inhibitor synthesis in addition to binding affinity and selectivity. We also report a three-dimensional model of BoNTAe in complex with the new inhibitor and the dynamics of the complex predicted by multiple molecular dynamics simulations, and discuss further structural optimization to achieve better in vivo efficacy in neutralizing BoNTA than those of our early micromolar leads. This work provides new insight

  17. Time-dependent alterations in growth, photosynthetic pigments and enzymatic defense systems of submerged Ceratophyllum demersum during exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxin-a

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ha, Mi-Hee; Pflugmacher, Stephan, E-mail: stephan.pflugmacher@tu-berlin.de

    2013-08-15

    Highlights: •We examined time-dependent metabolic changes in C. demersum exposed to anatoxin-a. •Biotransformation and antioxidative defense mechanisms responded positively to anatoxin-a. •Decline in chlorophylls contents was detected in company with irreversible plant growth inhibition during exposure to anatoxin-a. •Anatoxin-a exhibits phytotoxic allelopathy by provoking oxidative stress. •Macrophytes may have interactions with anatoxin-a in aquatic environments. -- Abstract: Recently, aquatic macrophytes have been considered as promising tools for eco-friendly water management with a low running cost. However, only little information is available thus far regarding the metabolic capacity of macrophytes for coping with cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins) in the aquatic environment. Cyanotoxins have become emerging contaminants of great concern due to the high proliferation of cyanobacteria (cyanobacterial bloom) accelerated by eutrophication and climate change. Anatoxin-a, one of the common and major cyanotoxins, is suggested as a high priority water pollutant for regulatory consideration owing to its notoriously rapid mode of action as a neurotoxin. In this study, the time-course metabolic regulation of the submerged macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum (C. demersum) was investigated during exposure to anatoxin-a at an environmentally relevant concentration (15 μg/L). Biotransformation and antioxidative systems in C. demersum responded positively to anatoxin-a through the promoted synthesis of most of the involved enzymes within 8 h. Maximum enzyme activities were exhibited after 24 or 48 h of exposure to anatoxin-a. However, an apparent decline in enzyme activities was also observed at longer exposure duration (168 and 336 h) in company with high steady-state levels of cell internal H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, which showed its highest level after 48 h. Meanwhile, irreversible inhibitory influence on chlorophyll content (vitality) was noticed, whereas the ratio of

  18. Production of Recombinant Human scFv Against Tetanus Toxin Heavy Chain by Phage Display Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalili, Ehsan; Lakzaei, Mostafa; Rasaee, Mohhamad Javad; Aminian, Mahdi

    2015-10-01

    Tetanus, as a major cause of death in developing countries, is caused by tetanus neurotoxin. Recombinant antibodies against tetanus neurotoxin can be useful in tetanus management. Phage display of antibody fragments from immune human antibody libraries with single chain constructs combining the variable fragments (scFv) has been one of the most prominent technologies in antibody engineering. The aim of this study was the generation of a single chain fragment of variable region (scFv) library and selection of specific antibodies with high affinity against tetanus toxin. Immune human single chain fragment variable (HuscFv) antibody phagemid library was displayed on pIII of filamentous bacteriophage. Selection of scFv clones was performed against tetanus toxin antigens after three rounds of panning. The selected scFv clones were analyzed for inhibition of tetanus toxin binding to ganglioside GT1b. After the third round of panning, over 35 HuscFv phages specific for tetanus toxin were isolated from this library of which 15 clones were found to bind specifically to tetanus toxin. The selected HuscFv phages expressed as a soluble HuscFv peptide and some clones showed positive signals against tetanus toxin. We found that six HuscFv clones inhibit toxin binding to ganglioside GT1b. These selected antibodies can be used in the management of tetanus.

  19. Pharmacological Studies on Clostridial Neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-08-01

    iwmu ~.ipnFmma 7. AUTHO0R(&) S OTATO RN UIIW3 Lance L. Simpson S. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 1O. PROGRAM ELEMENT. PROJECT. TASK AREA ...fixes to nerve endings (Chang et al., 1973), and the other of which is an enzyme with phospholipase A2 activity (Howard, 19751 Wernicke et al., 19751...of mutant proteins serologically related to diphtheria toxin. J. Biol. Cheo. 248:3838-3844, 1973. Wernicke , J.F., Vanker, A.D. and Howard, B.D.: The

  20. Genes that encode botulism neurotoxins A,B,E and F in Neotropical bee honey identified with the Polymerase Chain Reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Teresa Fournier

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Honey can be used for the treatment of wounds, sores and skin burns, but it might be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores. In order to evaluate Costa Rican raw honey samples, the detection of neurotoxin gene sequences (corresponding to the bacterium C. botulinum A, B, E and F was done with the polymerase chain reaction. A total of 64 raw honey samples, coming from different Costa Rican sites were analyzed. Reference C. botulinum strains type A (ATCC 19397, type B (ATCC 7949, type E (ATCC 17786 and type F (ATCC 25764 were used as templates for testing the effectivity of the method. The process consisted in culturing the honey samples in prereduced triptose-peptone-glucose-yeast extract media (TGPYfor 5 days. After this, the bacteria lysate obtained was used for PCR. The amplicons,product of the reaction, were visualized using agarose gel 2%. From the 64 honey samples analyzed, none produced positive results in the PCR, since no amplicons were obtained. Even though, all the reference C. botulinum strains used as controls were visualized and showed the effectivity of the extraction method and of the PCR used. The results obtained show promising therapeutic uses for honey from Costa Rica, but further evaluations shall be done in order to be sure of the safety of the product. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(1: 29-34. Epub 2006 Mar 31.La miel de abeja es un producto que podría ser utilizado en el tratamiento de heridas, abrasiones y quemaduras de piel; no obstante, podría estar contaminada con esporas de C. botulinum. Con el fin de evaluar muestras de miel de origen costarricense, se detectó las secuencias de genes productores de neurotoxina correspondientes a C. botulinum tipos A, B, E y F utilizando la técnica de PCR (reacción de polimerasa en cadena. 64 diferentes muestras de miel, provenientes de diversos sitios costarricenses, fueron analizadas. Con el fin de evaluar la efectividad del método, se utilizó cepas de referencia tipos A (ATCC

  1. Metabolic solutions to the biosynthesis of some diaminomonocarboxylic acids in nature: Formation in cyanobacteria of the neurotoxins 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Peter B; Codd, Geoffrey A

    2017-12-01

    The non-encoded diaminomonocarboxylic acids, 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (syn: α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid, MeDAP; β-N-methylaminoalanine, BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB), are distributed widely in cyanobacterial species in free and bound forms. Both amino acids are neurotoxic in whole animal and cell-based bioassays. The biosynthetic pathway to 2,4-DAB is well documented in bacteria and in one higher plant species, but has not been confirmed in cyanobacteria. The biosynthetic pathway to BMAA is unknown. This review considers possible metabolic routes, by analogy with reactions used in other species, by which these amino acids might be biosynthesised by cyanobacteria, which are a widespread potential environmental source of these neurotoxins. Where possible, the gene expression that might be implicated in these biosyntheses is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The urokinase receptor and its structural homologue C4.4A in human cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, B; Ploug, M

    2008-01-01

    in the human genome. The structural relationship between the two proteins is, however, not reflected at the functional level. Whereas uPAR has a well-established role in regulating and focalizing uPA-mediated plasminogen activation to the surface of those cells expressing the receptor, the biological function...... of C4.4A remains elusive. Nonetheless, both uPAR and C4.4A have been implicated in human pathologies such as wound healing and cancer. A large body of experimental evidence thus demonstrates that high levels of uPAR in resected tumour tissue as well as in plasma are associated with poor prognosis......The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and its structural homologue C4.4A are multidomain members of the Ly6/uPAR/alpha-neurotoxin protein domain family. Both are glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane glycoproteins encoded by neighbouring genes located on chromosome 19q13...

  3. Antinociceptive effects of analgesic-antitumor peptide (AGAP, a neurotoxin from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch, on formalin-induced inflammatory pain through a mitogen-activated protein kinases-dependent mechanism in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinghong Mao

    Full Text Available In the present study, we investigated the anti-nociceptive effect and the underlying mechanism of the analgesic-antitumor peptide (AGAP, a neurotoxin from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. AGAP in doses of 0.2, 1 and 5 µg was injected intraplantarly (i.pl. before formalin injection 10 min at the same site. The suppression by intraplantar injection of AGAP on formalin-induced spontaneous nociceptive behaviors was investigated. The results show that AGAP could dose-dependently inhibit formalin-induced two-phase spontaneous flinching response. To investigate the mechanism of action of treatment with AGAP in inflammatory pain, the expressions of peripheral and spinal phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinases (phospho-MAPKs including p-p38, p-ERK and p-JNK were examined. We found that formalin increased the expressions of peripheral and spinal MAPKs, which were prevented by pre-intraplantar injection of AGAP in inflammation pain model in mice. AGAP could also decrease the expression of spinal Fos induced by formalin. Furthermore, combinations the lower doses of the inhibitors of MAPKs (U0126, SP600125, or SB203580 0.1 µg with the lower dose of AGAP (0.2 µg, the results suggested that AGAP could potentiate the effects of the inhibitors of MAPKs on the inflammatory pain. The present results indicate that pre-intraplantar injection of AGAP prevents the inflammatory pain induced by formalin through a MAPKs-mediated mechanism in mice.

  4. Antinociceptive Effects of Analgesic-Antitumor Peptide (AGAP), a Neurotoxin from the Scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch, on Formalin-Induced Inflammatory Pain through a Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases–Dependent Mechanism in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Qinghong; Ruan, Jiaping; Cai, Xueting; Lu, Wuguang; Ye, Juan; Yang, Jie; Yang, Yang; Sun, Xiaoyan; Cao, Junli; Cao, Peng

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the anti-nociceptive effect and the underlying mechanism of the analgesic-antitumor peptide (AGAP), a neurotoxin from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. AGAP in doses of 0.2, 1 and 5 µg was injected intraplantarly (i.pl.) before formalin injection 10 min at the same site. The suppression by intraplantar injection of AGAP on formalin-induced spontaneous nociceptive behaviors was investigated. The results show that AGAP could dose-dependently inhibit formalin-induced two-phase spontaneous flinching response. To investigate the mechanism of action of treatment with AGAP in inflammatory pain, the expressions of peripheral and spinal phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinases (phospho-MAPKs) including p-p38, p-ERK and p-JNK were examined. We found that formalin increased the expressions of peripheral and spinal MAPKs, which were prevented by pre-intraplantar injection of AGAP in inflammation pain model in mice. AGAP could also decrease the expression of spinal Fos induced by formalin. Furthermore, combinations the lower doses of the inhibitors of MAPKs (U0126, SP600125, or SB203580 0.1 µg) with the lower dose of AGAP (0.2 µg), the results suggested that AGAP could potentiate the effects of the inhibitors of MAPKs on the inflammatory pain. The present results indicate that pre-intraplantar injection of AGAP prevents the inflammatory pain induced by formalin through a MAPKs-mediated mechanism in mice. PMID:24244296

  5. Potent New Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Endopeptidase Developed by Synthesis-Based Computer-Aided Molecular Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    an equine product that causes allergic reactions in ,10% of patients [6]. In late 2003, a solution of human antibodies was licensed as ‘‘BabyBIG’’ to... Hypersensitivity reactions associated with botulinal antitoxin. Am J Med 69: 567–570. Small-Molecule BoNTA Inhibitor PLoS ONE | www.plosone.org 17 November 2009

  6. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Lining; Hu, Rui; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Zhen-Ning; Li, Weida; Lu, Jianfeng

    2017-01-01

    In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host's cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  7. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lining Cao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs. In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host’s cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  8. Towards the rational design of antimicrobial proteins: single point mutations can switch on bactericidal and agglutinating activities on the RNase A superfamily lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, David; Moussaoui, Mohammed; Nogués, M Victòria; Torrent, Marc; Boix, Ester

    2013-11-01

    The ribonuclease (RNase) A superfamily lineage includes distant members with antimicrobial properties, suggesting a common ancestral host-defense role. In an effort to identify the minimal requirements for the eosinophil cationic protein (ECP or RNase 3) antimicrobial properties we applied site-directed mutagenesis on its closest family homolog, the eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN or RNase 2). Both eosinophil secretion proteins are involved in human immune defense, and are reported as being among the most rapidly evolving coding sequences in primates. Previous studies in our laboratory defined two regions at the N-terminus involved in the protein antimicrobial action, encompassing residues 8-16 and 34-36. Here, we demonstrate that switching two single residues is enough to provide EDN with ECP antipathogen properties. That is, the EDN double-mutant Q34R/R35W displays enhanced bactericidal activity, particularly towards Gram-negative bacteria, and a significant increase in its affinity towards the bacterial outer membrane lipopolysaccharides. Moreover, we confirmed the direct contribution of residue W35 in lipopolysaccharide binding, membrane interaction and permeabilization processes. Furthermore, additional T13 to I substitution provides EDN with an exposed hydrophobic patch required for protein self-aggregation and triggers bacterial agglutination, thereby increasing the final antimicrobial activity by up to 20-fold. Our results highlight how single selected mutations can reshape the entire protein function. This study provides an example of how structure-guided protein engineering can successfully reproduce an evolution selection process towards the emergence of new physiological roles. © 2013 FEBS.

  9. Disposition of β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxin, in rodents following a single or repeated oral exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waidyanatha, Suramya; Ryan, Kristen; Sanders, J Michael; McDonald, Jacob D; Wegerski, Christopher J; Doyle-Eisle, Melanie; Garner, C Edwin

    2018-01-15

    β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (L-BMAA) is produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Human exposure to L-BMAA occurs via consumption of L-BMAA-contaminated water and food. It is speculated that exposure to L-BMAA, and subsequent brain accumulation, may contribute to an increased incidence of neurodegenerative diseases indicating the need to evaluate risk of L-BMAA exposure to humans. As an initial step in this process, we have evaluated disposition following a single or repeated gavage administration of 1, 10 or 100mg/kg [ 14 C]L-BMAA in rats and mice. L-BMAA was well absorbed following a single gavage administration with minimal dose, species, or sex-related effect. In both species, the main excretion route was as exhaled CO 2 (46-61%) with 7-13% and 1.4-8% of the administered dose excreted in the urine and feces, respectively. L-BMAA was distributed to all tissues examined; the total radioactivity in tissues increased with the dose and was significant in both species (8-20%). In male rats, L-BMAA was slowly eliminated from blood and tissues (half-lives ≥48h). Following 1, 5 and 10days of dosing in male rats, levels in tissues increased with the number of doses demonstrating potential for accumulation of BMAA-derived equivalents. There was no greater affinity for accumulation in the brain compared to other organs and tissues. Following repeated exposure in rats, amino acid mass shifts associated with L-BMAA were detected in brain peptides. However, the low frequency of occurrence suggests that the substitution of an amino acid with L-BMAA is not significant relative to substitutions and/or modifications by other L-BMAA-derived equivalents. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Phospholipase A2 Inhibitor from Crotalus durissus terrificus rattlesnake: Effects on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and human neutrophils cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Caroline V; da S Setúbal, Sulamita; Lacouth-Silva, Fabianne; Pontes, Adriana S; Nery, Neriane M; de Castro, Onassis Boeri; Fernandes, Carla F C; Soares, Andreimar M; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo L; Zuliani, Juliana P

    2017-12-01

    Crotalus Neutralizing Factor (CNF) is an inhibitor of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), present in the blood plasma of Crotalus durissus terrificus snake. This inhibitor neutralizes the lethal and enzymatic activity of crotoxin, the main neurotoxin from this venom. In this study, we investigated the effects of CNF on the functionality of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and human neutrophils. The following parameters were evaluated: viability and proliferation, chemotaxis, cytokines and LTB4 production, cytosolic PLA2s activity, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and superoxide anion (O2-) production. CNF showed no toxicity on PBMCs or neutrophils, and acts by stimulating the release of TNF-α and LTB4, but neither stimulates IL-10 and IL-2 nor affects PBMCs proliferation and O2- release. In neutrophils, CNF induces chemotaxis but does not induce the release of both MPO and O2-. However, it induces LTB4 and IL-8 production. These data show the influence of CNF on PBMCs' function by inducing TNF-α and LTB4 production, and on neutrophils, by stimulating chemotaxis and LTB4 production, via cytosolic PLA2 activity, and IL-8 release. The inflammatory profile produced by CNF is shown for the first time. Our present results suggest that CNF has a role in activation of leukocytes and exert proinflammatory effects on these cell. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. PET 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine studies of dopaminergic function in human and nonhuman primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie L Eberling

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Although positron emission tomography (PET and the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC tracer 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine (FMT has been used to assess the integrity of the presynaptic dopamine system in the brain, relatively little has been published in terms of brain FMT uptake values especially for normal human subjects. Twelve normal volunteer subjects were scanned using PET and FMT to determine the range of normal striatal uptake values using Patlak graphical analysis. For comparison, seven adult rhesus monkeys were studied and the data analyzed in the same way. A subset of monkeys that were treated with a unilateral intracarotid artery infusion of the dopamine neurotoxin MPTP showed an 87% decrease in striatal FMT uptake. These findings support the use of PET and FMT to image AADC distribution in both normal and diseased brains using Patlak graphical analysis and tissue input functions.

  12. The role of human endogenous retroviruses in brain development and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortelmans, Kristien; Wang-Johanning, Feng; Johanning, Gary L

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous retroviral sequences are spread throughout the genome of all humans, and make up about 8% of the genome. Despite their prevalence, the function of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in humans is largely unknown. In this review we focus on the brain, and evaluate studies in animal models that address mechanisms of endogenous retrovirus activation in the brain and central nervous system (CNS). One such study in mice found that TRIM28, a protein critical for mouse early development, regulates transcription and silencing of endogenous retroviruses in neural progenitor cells. Another intriguing finding in human brain cells and mouse models was that endogenous retrovirus HERV-K appears to be protective against neurotoxins. We also report on studies that associate HERVs with human diseases of the brain and CNS. There is little doubt of an association between HERVs and a number of CNS diseases. However, a cause and effect relationship between HERVs and these diseases has not yet been established. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Cyanotoxins: producing organisms, occurrence, toxicity, mechanism of action and human health toxicological risk evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Franca M; Manganelli, Maura; Vichi, Susanna; Stefanelli, Mara; Scardala, Simona; Testai, Emanuela; Funari, Enzo

    2017-03-01

    Cyanobacteria were present on the earth 3.5 billion years ago; since then they have colonized almost all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They produce a high number of bioactive molecules, among which some are cyanotoxins. Cyanobacterial growth at high densities, forming blooms, is increasing in extension and frequency, following anthropogenic activities and climate changes, giving rise to some concern for human health and animal life exposed to cyanotoxins. Numerous cases of lethal poisonings have been associated with cyanotoxins ingestion in wild animal and livestock. In humans few episodes of lethal or severe human poisonings have been recorded after acute or short-term exposure, but the repeated/chronic exposure to low cyanotoxin levels remains a critical issue. The properties of the most frequently detected cyanotoxins (namely, microcystins, nodularins, cylindrospermopsin and neurotoxins) are here critically reviewed, describing for each toxin the available information on producing organisms, biosynthesis/genetic and occurrence, with a focus on the toxicological profile (including kinetics, acute systemic toxicity, mechanism and mode of action, local effects, repeated toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity; human health effects and epidemiological studies; animal poisoning) with the derivation of health-based values and considerations on the risks for human health.

  14. More Human than Human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, David

    2017-07-01

    Within the literature surrounding nonhuman animals on the one hand and cognitively disabled humans on the other, there is much discussion of where beings that do not satisfy the criteria for personhood fit in our moral deliberations. In the future, we may face a different but related problem: that we might create (or cause the creation of) beings that not only satisfy but exceed these criteria. The question becomes whether these are minimal criteria, or hierarchical, such that those who fulfill them to greater degree should be afforded greater consideration. This article questions the validity and necessity of drawing divisions among beings that satisfy the minimum requirements for personhood; considering how future beings-intelligent androids, synthezoids, even alternate-substrate sentiences-might fit alongside the "baseline" human. I ask whether these alternate beings ought to be considered different to us, and why this may or may not matter in terms of a notion of "human community." The film Blade Runner, concerned in large part with humanity and its key synthezoid antagonist Roy Batty, forms a framing touchstone for my discussion. Batty is stronger, faster, more resilient, and more intelligent than Homo sapiens. His exploits, far beyond the capability of normal humans, are contrasted with his frailty and transient lifespan, his aesthetic appreciation of the sights he has seen, and his burgeoning empathy. Not for nothing does his creator within the mythos term him "more human than human."

  15. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    OpenAIRE

    Neil Hammerschlag; Davis, David A.; Kiyo Mondo; Matthew S. Seely; Murch, Susan J.; William Broc Glover; Timothy Divoll; Evers, David C.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part t...

  16. Protein Receptor(s) of Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    affinity gel and CelLytic B II Bacterial Cell Lysis extraction Reagent were obtained from Sigma (St. Louis, MO). Anti-His antibody was from Amersham...Pharmacia Bioth (Piscataway, NJ). Culture and chromosomal DNA isolation of Clostridium botulinum type B cells (strain Okra ) Clostridium botulinum type...B cells (strain Okra ) in a 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube kept in -80’C was added to a 10 ml cooked meat medium (Difco Laboratories, Becton Dickinson, MD

  17. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    phosphorylated tyro - sine indicated by an asterisk (*). LcA− and LcA+ represent Src reaction mixtures that were incubated without and with (0.2mM...CONCLUSION In vitro reaction of LcA, LcB, LcC1, LcD, LcE, and LcG with Tyrosine kinase Src resulted in phosphorylation of several tyro - sine residues

  18. Physical Characterization of Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxin Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-02-17

    E TNM! AE N YK I1K P tASTY PSD SLP PV K 1101 TAAAAGCTTAATGTTTOGTT TTAC ýAAACTA.ATATAGCAGAAAATTATAAAATAAAAACTAGAGCTTCTTATTTTAGTGA rTCCTTACCACCAGTAAAA...been shown to be selectable in C. acetobutylicum DSM 1731 (P. Durre, personal communication). The highest priority, however, will be given to

  19. Mechanism of Action of Presynaptic Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

    Chemistry, University of Maryland School of Medicine. 660 W. Red- Research Laboratories (Beckenhamn. England). Horse tetanus antitoxin wood St.. Baltimore...that bindsI tetanus toxin in a manner identical to thal found in ’normal brain tissueav Analysis of the, ganglioside content of these cells reveals...that it has the samie omoosition as brain. These -ellis were found to internalize tetanus toxin very rapidly at 37"FC_.’ The rapid internal- ization was

  20. Molecular Analysis of Neurotoxin-Induced Apoptosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-01

    for 30min. ProteinA / G -agarose beadswere added to themixture, and further incubation was carried out at 4 °C overnight. After incuba- tion, beads were...the sampleswere centrifuged at 12,000 rpm for 10min. The resulting pellets were resuspended in 50l of Tris/EDTAbuffer containing proteinase K (300 g ...its discovery, Biochem. J. 359 (2001) 1–16. [16] C. Galli, O. Meucci, A. Scorziello, T.M. Werge, P. Calissano, G . Schettini, Apoptosis in cerebellar

  1. Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson's disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Tetsuhiro; Morizane, Asuka; Doi, Daisuke; Magotani, Hiroaki; Onoe, Hirotaka; Hayashi, Takuya; Mizuma, Hiroshi; Takara, Sayuki; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Inoue, Haruhisa; Morita, Satoshi; Yamamoto, Michio; Okita, Keisuke; Nakagawa, Masato; Parmar, Malin; Takahashi, Jun

    2017-08-30

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are a promising source for a cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson's disease (PD), in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons progressively degenerate. However, long-term analysis of human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in primate PD models has never been performed to our knowledge. Here we show that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitor cells survived and functioned as midbrain dopaminergic neurons in a primate model of PD (Macaca fascicularis) treated with the neurotoxin MPTP. Score-based and video-recording analyses revealed an increase in spontaneous movement of the monkeys after transplantation. Histological studies showed that the mature dopaminergic neurons extended dense neurites into the host striatum; this effect was consistent regardless of whether the cells were derived from patients with PD or from healthy individuals. Cells sorted by the floor plate marker CORIN did not form any tumours in the brains for at least two years. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography were used to monitor the survival, expansion and function of the grafted cells as well as the immune response in the host brain. Thus, this preclinical study using a primate model indicates that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitors are clinically applicable for the treatment of patients with PD.

  2. In vitro study of thimerosal reactions in human whole blood and plasma surrogate samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trümpler, Stefan; Meermann, Björn; Nowak, Sascha; Buscher, Wolfgang; Karst, Uwe; Sperling, Michael

    2014-04-01

    Because of its bactericidal and fungicidal properties, thimerosal is used as a preservative in drugs and vaccines and is thus deliberately injected into the human body. In aqueous environment, it decomposes into thiosalicylic acid and the ethylmercury cation. This organomercury fragment is a potent neurotoxin and is suspected to have similar toxicity and bioavailability like the methylmercury cation. In this work, human whole blood and physiological simulation solutions were incubated with thimerosal to investigate its behaviour and binding partners in the blood stream. Inductively coupled plasma with optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) was used for total mercury determination in different blood fractions, while liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to electrospray ionisation time-of-flight (ESI-TOF) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) provided information on the individual mercury species in plasma surrogate samples. Analogous behaviour of methylmercury and ethylmercury species in human blood was shown and an ethylmercury-glutathione adduct was identified. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Structure-based assessment of disease-related mutations in human voltage-gated sodium channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiyun Huang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Voltage-gated sodium (Nav channels are essential for the rapid upstroke of action potentials and the propagation of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. Defects of Nav channels are associated with a variety of channelopathies. More than 1000 disease-related mutations have been identified in Nav channels, with Nav1.1 and Nav1.5 each harboring more than 400 mutations. Nav channels represent major targets for a wide array of neurotoxins and drugs. Atomic structures of Nav channels are required to understand their function and disease mechanisms. The recently determined atomic structure of the rabbit voltage-gated calcium (Cav channel Cav1.1 provides a template for homology-based structural modeling of the evolutionarily related Nav channels. In this Resource article, we summarized all the reported disease-related mutations in human Nav channels, generated a homologous model of human Nav1.7, and structurally mapped disease-associated mutations. Before the determination of structures of human Nav channels, the analysis presented here serves as the base framework for mechanistic investigation of Nav channelopathies and for potential structure-based drug discovery.

  4. Structure-based assessment of disease-related mutations in human voltage-gated sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Weiyun; Liu, Minhao; Yan, S Frank; Yan, Nieng

    2017-06-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (Na v ) channels are essential for the rapid upstroke of action potentials and the propagation of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. Defects of Na v channels are associated with a variety of channelopathies. More than 1000 disease-related mutations have been identified in Na v channels, with Na v 1.1 and Na v 1.5 each harboring more than 400 mutations. Na v channels represent major targets for a wide array of neurotoxins and drugs. Atomic structures of Na v channels are required to understand their function and disease mechanisms. The recently determined atomic structure of the rabbit voltage-gated calcium (Ca v ) channel Ca v 1.1 provides a template for homology-based structural modeling of the evolutionarily related Na v channels. In this Resource article, we summarized all the reported disease-related mutations in human Na v channels, generated a homologous model of human Na v 1.7, and structurally mapped disease-associated mutations. Before the determination of structures of human Na v channels, the analysis presented here serves as the base framework for mechanistic investigation of Na v channelopathies and for potential structure-based drug discovery.

  5. Cytotoxic Effects of Environmental Toxins on Human Glial Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Mello, Fiona; Braidy, Nady; Marçal, Helder; Guillemin, Gilles; Rossi, Fanny; Chinian, Mirielle; Laurent, Dominique; Teo, Charles; Neilan, Brett A

    2017-02-01

    Toxins produced by cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates have increasingly become a public health concern due to their degenerative effects on mammalian tissue and cells. In particular, emerging evidence has called attention to the neurodegenerative effects of the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). Other toxins such as the neurotoxins saxitoxin and ciguatoxin, as well as the hepatotoxic microcystin, have been previously shown to have a range of effects upon the nervous system. However, the capacity of these toxins to cause neurodegeneration in human cells has not, to our knowledge, been previously investigated. This study aimed to examine the cytotoxic effects of BMAA, microcystin-LR (MC-LR), saxitoxin (STX) and ciguatoxin (CTX-1B) on primary adult human astrocytes. We also demonstrated that α-lipoate attenuated MC-LR toxicity in primary astrocytes and characterised changes in gene expression which could potentially be caused by these toxins in primary astrocytes. Herein, we are the first to show that all of these toxins are capable of causing physiological changes consistent with neurodegeneration in glial cells, via oxidative stress and excitotoxicity, leading to a reduction in cell proliferation culminating in cell death. In addition, MC-LR toxicity was reduced significantly in astrocytes-treated α-lipoic acid. While there were no significant changes in gene expression, many of the probes that were altered were associated with neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Overall, this is important in advancing our current understanding of the mechanism of toxicity of MC-LR on human brain function in vitro, particularly in the context of neurodegeneration.

  6. Human rights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaay Fortman, B. de

    2006-01-01

    Human rights reflect a determined effort to protect the dignity of each and every human being against abuse of power. This endeavour is as old as human history. What is relatively new is the international venture for the protection of human dignity through internationally accepted legal standards

  7. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security

    OpenAIRE

    Gasper, D.R.

    2007-01-01

    Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each has emerged within the United Nations world; each relies implicitly on a conceptualisation of human need; each has specific strengths. Yet mutual communication, understanding and co-operation are deficient, espec...

  8. A randomized intervention of montelukast for post-bronchiolitis: effect on eosinophil degranulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chang-Keun; Choi, Jungi; Kim, Hyo Bin; Callaway, Zak; Shin, Bo Moon; Kim, Jin-Tack; Fujisawa, Takao; Koh, Young Yull

    2010-05-01

    To investigate the effect of montelukast on eosinophil degranulation and recurrent wheezing episodes in post-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis. Two hundred infants (age, 6-24 months) who were hospitalized with their first episode of acute RSV bronchiolitis were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel comparison of 4-mg montelukast granules (RSV-MONT group) or matching placebo (RSV-PLC group) administered for 3 months. Serum eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) levels were measured (primary outcome), and recurrent wheezing was documented (secondary outcome) for 12 months. Comparisons were made with control subjects (control group, n = 50). At the end of the 3-month treatment period, the RSV-PLC group (n = 71) exhibited significantly elevated EDN levels (P episodes at 12 months were significantly lower in the RSV-MONT group (P = .039). Montelukast treatment reduces eosinophil degranulation and is associated with a decrease in recurrent wheezing episodes in post-RSV bronchiolitis.

  9. Human Monkeypox

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wilson, Mary E; Hughes, James M; McCollum, Andrea M; Damon, Inger K

    2014-01-01

    Human monkeypox is found primarily in forested areas of Central Africa. This article provides a basic review of the clinical, epidemiological, and biological factors that contribute to human disease...

  10. Human microbiomics

    OpenAIRE

    Rajendhran, J.; Gunasekaran, P.

    2010-01-01

    The sequencing of the human genome has driven the study of human biology in a significant way and enabled the genome-wide study to elucidate the molecular basis of complex human diseases. Recently, the role of microbiota on human physiology and health has received much attention. The influence of gut microbiome (the collective genomes of the gut microbiota) in obesity has been demonstrated, which may pave the way for new prophylactic and therapeutic strategies such as bacteriotherapy. The sig...

  11. Human Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2009-01-01

    textabstract‘Human development’ language spread gradually in circles of national and international development policy and planning from the 1970s and acquired a definitive form in the 1990s in the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Reports (HDRs). Human development was defined

  12. Human Smuggling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Siegel - Rozenblit, Dina|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/152524096; Zaitch, Damian|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/183348486

    2014-01-01

    Human smuggling is based on a consensus between smuggler, smuggled, and his/her family (which usually guarantees or effectuates payment). However, unauthorized immigrants are violating immigration laws and human smugglers are profiting from enabling illegal immigration. Both human smuggling and its

  13. Th17 cytokines induce pro-fibrotic cytokines release from human eosinophils

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Subepithelial fibrosis is one of the most critical structural changes affecting bronchial airway function during asthma. Eosinophils have been shown to contribute to the production of pro-fibrotic cytokines, TGF-β and IL-11, however, the mechanism regulating this process is not fully understood. Objective In this report, we investigated whether cytokines associated with inflammation during asthma may induce eosinophils to produce pro-fibrotic cytokines. Methods Eosinophils were isolated from peripheral blood of 10 asthmatics and 10 normal control subjects. Eosinophils were stimulated with Th1, Th2 and Th17 cytokines and the production of TGF-β and IL-11 was determined using real time PCR and ELISA assays. Results The basal expression levels of eosinophil derived TGF-β and IL-11 cytokines were comparable between asthmatic and healthy individuals. Stimulating eosinophils with Th1 and Th2 cytokines did not induce expression of pro-fibrotic cytokines. However, stimulating eosinophils with Th17 cytokines resulted in the enhancement of TGF-β and IL-11 expression in asthmatic but not healthy individuals. This effect of IL-17 on eosinophils was dependent on p38 MAPK activation as inhibiting the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, but not other kinases, inhibited IL-17 induced pro-fibrotic cytokine release. Conclusions Th17 cytokines might contribute to airway fibrosis during asthma by enhancing production of eosinophil derived pro-fibrotic cytokines. Preventing the release of pro-fibrotic cytokines by blocking the effect of Th17 cytokines on eosinophils may prove to be beneficial in controlling fibrosis for disorders with IL-17 driven inflammation such as allergic and autoimmune diseases. PMID:23496774

  14. Human Technology and Human Affects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fausing, Bent

    2009-01-01

    Human Technology and Human Affects  This year Samsung introduced a mobile phone with "Soul". It was made with a human touch and included itself a magical touch. Which function does technology and affects get in everyday aesthetics like this, its images and interactions included this presentation...... will ask and try to answer. The mobile phone and its devices are depicted as being able to make a unique human presence, interaction, and affect. The medium, the technology is a necessary helper to get towards this very special and lost humanity. Without the technology, no special humanity - soul...... - is the prophecy. This personification or anthropomorphism is important for the branding of new technology. The technology is seen as creating a technotranscendens towards a more qualified humanity, which is in contact with the fundamental human values like intuition, vision, and sensing; all the qualities...

  15. Human Parvoviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jianming; Söderlund-Venermo, Maria; Young, Neal S

    2017-01-01

    Parvovirus B19 (B19V) and human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1), members of the large Parvoviridae family, are human pathogens responsible for a variety of diseases. For B19V in particular, host features determine disease manifestations. These viruses are prevalent worldwide and are culturable in vitro, and serological and molecular assays are available but require careful interpretation of results. Additional human parvoviruses, including HBoV2 to -4, human parvovirus 4 (PARV4), and human bufavirus (BuV) are also reviewed. The full spectrum of parvovirus disease in humans has yet to be established. Candidate recombinant B19V vaccines have been developed but may not be commercially feasible. We review relevant features of the molecular and cellular biology of these viruses, and the human immune response that they elicit, which have allowed a deep understanding of pathophysiology. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Microbiology.

  16. Human Rights/Human Needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canning, Cynthia

    1978-01-01

    The faculty of Holy Names High School developed an interdisciplinary human rights program with school-wide activities focusing on three selected themes: the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in conjunction with Human Rights Week; Food; and Women. This article outlines major program activities. (SJL)

  17. Digital Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brügger, Niels

    2016-01-01

    Digital humanities is an umbrella term for theories, methodologies, and practices related to humanities scholarship that use the digital computer as an integrated and essential part of its research and teaching activities. The computer can be used for establishing, finding, collecting......, and preserving material to study, as an object of study in its own right, as an analytical tool, or for collaborating, and for disseminating results. The term "digital humanities" was coined around 2001, and gained currency within academia in the following years. However, computers had been used within...... the humanities for decades, starting with research fields such as humanities computing or computational linguistics in the 1950s, and later new media studies and internet studies. The historical development of digital humanities has been characterized by a focus on three successive, but co-existing types...

  18. Human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct hominins......, and true population genomic studies of Bronze Age populations. Among the emerging areas of aDNA research, the analysis of past epigenomes is set to provide more new insights into human adaptation and disease susceptibility through time. Starting as a mere curiosity, ancient human genetics has become...

  19. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security - Relationships between four international human discourses.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2007-01-01

    markdownabstractAbstract: Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and

  20. Human Rights and Human Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vittorio Possenti

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available There seems to be two different versions of human rights in Western tradition: say Rationalistic and Christian; the former adopted in revolutionary France, the latter highly developed in Renaissance Spain. Current relativistic criticisms attempt to deny the universality of human rights alleging that this theory has been created in Western countries or it has no strong justification, and therefore cannot have universal approach; but this objection can be dismissed with an alternative justification of human rights.

  1. Think Human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Charlotte Marie Bisgaard

    2013-01-01

    years' campaigns suggests that the theory of communication underlying the campaign has its basis in mechanical action rather than in human communication. The practice of 'Communication design' is investigated in relation to this metaphorical 'machine thinking' model of communication and contrasted...... with the human-centered theory of communication advocated by integrationism....

  2. Human trichuriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Betson, Martha; Søe, Martin Jensen; Nejsum, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Human trichuriasis is a neglected tropical disease which affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is particularly prevalent among children living in areas where sanitation is poor. This review examines the current knowledge on the taxonomy, genetics and phylogeography of human Trichuris...

  3. Human kapital

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grosen, Anders; Nielsen, Peder Harbjerg

    2007-01-01

    finansiel og human kapital. Den traditionelle rådgivnings snævre synsvinkel kan føre til forkerte investeringsråd. Der skal derfor opfordres til, at de finansielle virksomheder i tilrettelæggelsen af deres rådgivning af private kunder systematisk inddrager den humane kapitals størrelse og karakteristika i...

  4. Nrf2/ARE Pathway Involved in Oxidative Stress Induced by Paraquat in Human Neural Progenitor Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingting Dou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Compelling evidences have shown that diverse environmental insults arising during early life can either directly lead to a reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons or cause an increased susceptibility to neurons degeneration with subsequent environmental insults or with aging alone. Oxidative stress is considered the main effect of neurotoxins exposure. In this study, we investigated the oxidative stress effect of Paraquat (PQ on immortalized human embryonic neural progenitor cells by treating them with various concentrations of PQ. We show that PQ can decrease the activity of SOD and CAT but increase MDA and LDH level. Furthermore, the activities of Cyc and caspase-9 were found increased significantly at 10 μM of PQ treatment. The cytoplasmic Nrf2 protein expressions were upregulated at 10 μM but fell back at 100 μM. The nuclear Nrf2 protein expressions were upregulated as well as the downstream mRNA expressions of HO-1 and NQO1 in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the proteins expression of PKC and CKII was also increased significantly even at 1 μM. The results suggested that Nrf2/ARE pathway is involved in mild to moderate PQ-induced oxidative stress which is evident from dampened Nrf2 activity and low expression of antioxidant genes in PQ induced oxidative damage.

  5. Alkaloids in the human food chain--natural occurrence and possible adverse effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koleva, Irina I; van Beek, Teris A; Soffers, Ans E M F; Dusemund, Birgit; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M

    2012-01-01

    Alkaloid-containing plants are an intrinsic part of the regular Western diet. The present paper summarizes the occurrence of alkaloids in the food chain, their mode of action and possible adverse effects including a safety assessment. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are a reason for concern because of their bioactivation to reactive alkylating intermediates. Several quinolizidine alkaloids, β-carboline alkaloids, ergot alkaloids and steroid alkaloids are active without bioactivation and mostly act as neurotoxins. Regulatory agencies are aware of the risks and have taken or are considering appropriate regulatory actions for most alkaloids. These vary from setting limits for the presence of a compound in feed, foods and beverages, trying to define safe upper limits, advising on a strategy aiming at restrictions in use, informing the public to be cautious or taking specific plant varieties from the market. For some alkaloids known to be present in the modern food chain, e.g., piperine, nicotine, theobromine, theophylline and tropane alkaloids risks coming from the human food chain are considered to be low if not negligible. Remarkably, for many alkaloids that are known constituents of the modern food chain and of possible concern, tolerable daily intake values have so far not been defined. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Comparison of polychlorinated biphenyl levels across studies of human neurodevelopment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Longnecker, MP; Gladen, BC; Brock, JW; Grandjean, P; Jacobson, JL; Korrick, SA; Rogan, WJ; Weisglas-Kuperus, N; Hertz-Picciotto, [No Value; Ayotte, P; Stewart, P; Winneke, G; Charles, MJ; Jacobson, SW; Dewailly, E; Boersma, ER; Altshul, LM; Heinzow, B; Pagano, JJ; Jensen, AA

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent pollutants that are ubiquitous in the food chain, and detectable amounts are in the blood of almost every person in most populations that have been examined. Extensive evidence from animal studies shows that PCBs are neurotoxins, even at low doses.

  7. Human Computation

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2008-01-01

    What if people could play computer games and accomplish work without even realizing it? What if billions of people collaborated to solve important problems for humanity or generate training data for computers? My work aims at a general paradigm for doing exactly that: utilizing human processing power to solve computational problems in a distributed manner. In particular, I focus on harnessing human time and energy for addressing problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities...

  8. Human phantom

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1973-01-01

    This human phantom has been received by CERN on loan from the State Committee of the USSR for the Utilization of Atomic Energy. It is used by the Health Physics Group to study personel radiation doses near the accelerators.

  9. Human expunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klee, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Thomas Nagel in `The Absurd' (Nagel 1971) mentions the future expunction of the human species as a `metaphor' for our ability to see our lives from the outside, which he claims is one source of our sense of life's absurdity. I argue that the future expunction (not to be confused with extinction) of everything human - indeed of everything biological in a terran sense - is not a mere metaphor but a physical certainty under the laws of nature. The causal processes by which human expunction will take place are presented in some empirical detail, so that philosophers cannot dismiss it as merely speculative. I also argue that appeals to anthropic principles or to forms of mystical cosmology are of no plausible avail in the face of human expunction under the laws of physics.

  10. Human brucellosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franco, María Pía; Mulder, Maximilian; Gilman, Robert H.; Smits, Henk L.

    2007-01-01

    Human brucellosis still presents scientists and clinicians with several challenges, such as the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of Brucella spp, the identification of markers for disease severity, progression, and treatment response, and the development of improved treatment regimens.

  11. Human Toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jolliet, Olivier; Fantke, Peter

    2015-01-01

    This chapter reviews the human toxicological impacts of chemicals and how to assess these impacts in life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), in order to identify key processes and pollutants. The complete cause-effect pathway – from emissions of toxic substances up to damages on human health...... on characterisation factors means that results should by default be reported and interpreted in log scales when comparing scenarios or substance contribution! We conclude by outlining future trends in human toxicity modelling for LCIA, with promising developments for (a) better estimates of degradation halflives, (b......) the inclusion of ionization of chemicals in human exposure including bioaccumulation, (c) metal speciation, (d) spatialised models to differentiate the variability associated with spatialisation from the uncertainty, and (e) the assessment of chemical exposure via consumer products and occupational settings...

  12. Human ehrlichiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đokić Milomir

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Human ehrlichiosis is a newly recognized disease. It is a tick-borne disease caused by several bacterial species of the genhus Erlichia. These are small gram-negative pleomorphic cocci, that are obligatory intracellular bacteria. Tick Ixodes is the principle vector in Europe, and Amblyomma americanum in the United States. Bacterial organisms replicate in a tick, and are transmited from infected cells in a vector to the blood cells of animals or humans. Human ehrlichiosis is a name for a group of diseases caused by different species of Ehrlichia. One of them is the disease named human monocytic ehrlichiosis, caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and the other is a human granulocytic ehrlichiosis caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilia. Case report. We reported a 23-year-old patient admitted for the clinical treatment with the symptoms of high febrility (above 40 °C, headache, vomiting, general weakness and exhaustion, but without data on a tick bite. The patient was treated with trimetoprim-sulfamethoxazole for a week when Ehrlichia chaffeensis was confirmed by the immunofluoroscence test, and the therapy contimed with doxacyclin. Conclusion. Human ehrlichiosis is also present in our country, so this disease should be considered everyday, especially in infectology practice.

  13. Secretory Products of the Human GI Tract Microbiome and Their Potential Impact on Alzheimer's Disease (AD: Detection of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS in AD Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhai Zhao

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the potential contribution of the human gastrointestinal (GI tract microbiome to human health, aging, and disease is becoming increasingly acknowledged, the molecular mechanics and signaling pathways of just how this is accomplished is not well-understood. Major bacterial species of the GI tract, such as the abundant Gram-negative bacilli Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis and Escherichia coli (E. coli, secrete a remarkably complex array of pro-inflammatory neurotoxins which, when released from the confines of the healthy GI tract, are pathogenic and highly detrimental to the homeostatic function of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS. For the first time here we report the presence of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS in brain lysates from the hippocampus and superior temporal lobe neocortex of Alzheimer's disease (AD brains. Mean LPS levels varied from two-fold increases in the neocortex to three-fold increases in the hippocampus, AD over age-matched controls, however some samples from advanced AD hippocampal cases exhibited up to a 26-fold increase in LPS over age-matched controls. This “Perspectives” paper will further highlight some very recent research on GI tract microbiome signaling to the human CNS, and will update current findings that implicate GI tract microbiome-derived LPS as an important internal contributor to inflammatory degeneration in the CNS.

  14. [Humanized childbirth].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Su-Chen

    2005-06-01

    Childbirth is a major event in a family. The expectant parent's perception of the childbirth experience influences his or her development as a parent. Making childbirth a positive and satisfying experience for women is the responsibility of health care providers. Women want to have physical and emotional privacy during labor and delivery, and to experience both in a friendly, comfortable environment. For women expected to undergo normal deliveries, humanized childbirth is one accessible approach. This article explores the definition and evolution of humanized childbirth and the care practice that it involves. It also explores birth plans and birth experiences, and the improvements necessary to routine labor practices to enable women to participate in decision making about their childbirth experiences. The author emphasizes that when health-care providers recognize the value of humanized childbirth and make changes accordingly, the dignity of women's childbirth experiences will be enhanced.

  15. Human monkeypox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCollum, Andrea M; Damon, Inger K

    2014-01-01

    Human monkeypox is a zoonotic Orthopoxvirus with a presentation similar to smallpox. Clinical differentiation of the disease from smallpox and varicella is difficult. Laboratory diagnostics are principal components to identification and surveillance of disease, and new tests are needed for a more precise and rapid diagnosis. The majority of human infections occur in Central Africa, where surveillance in rural areas with poor infrastructure is difficult but can be accomplished with evidence-guided tools and educational materials to inform public health workers of important principles. Contemporary epidemiological studies are needed now that populations do not receive routine smallpox vaccination. New therapeutics and vaccines offer hope for the treatment and prevention of monkeypox; however, more research must be done before they are ready to be deployed in an endemic setting. There is a need for more research in the epidemiology, ecology, and biology of the virus in endemic areas to better understand and prevent human infections.

  16. Human mimicry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chartrand, T.L.; Baaren, R.B. van

    2009-01-01

    Human mimicry is ubiquitous, and often occurs without the awareness of the person mimicking or the person being mimicked. First, we briefly describe some of the major types of nonconscious mimicry—verbal, facial, emotional, and behavioral—and review the evidence for their automaticity. Next, we

  17. Practicing Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gimmler, Antje

    2016-01-01

    and self-reflective democracy. Contemporary humanities have adopted a new orientation towards practices, and it is not clear how this fits with the ideals of ‘Bildung’ and ‘pure science’. A possible theoretical framework for this orientation towards practices could be found in John Dewey’s pragmatic...

  18. Human waste

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amin, Md Nurul; Kroeze, Carolien; Strokal, Maryna

    2017-01-01

    Many people practice open defecation in south Asia. As a result, lot of human waste containing nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enter rivers. Rivers transport these nutrients to coastal waters, resulting in marine pollution. This source of nutrient pollution is, however, ignored in

  19. Human Parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Ryan S.; Hodgson, Erin W.

    2008-01-01

    Entomologists often get “bug” samples for identification, including those that accidentally infest residences. In the United States, we are fortunate to have very few arthropods (e.g., insects, spiders, mites, ticks, etc.) that actually infest or feed on humans.

  20. Human steroidogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Claus Y; Ezcurra, Diego

    2014-01-01

    reviews current knowledge of the regulation of progesterone in the human ovary during the follicular phase and highlights areas where knowledge remains limited. In this review, we provide in-depth information outlining the regulation and function of gonadotropins in the complicated area of steroidogenesis...

  1. Human Parechoviruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischer, Thea Kølsen; Harvala, Heli; Midgley, Sofie

    2017-01-01

    Infections with human parechoviruses (HPeV) are highly prevalent, particularly in neonates, where they may cause substantial morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation of HPeV infection is often indistinguishable from that of enterovirus (EV) infection and may vary from mild disease...

  2. Nothing Human

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharram, C. C.

    2014-01-01

    In this essay C. C. Wharram argues that Terence's concept of translation as a form of "contamination" anticipates recent developments in philosophy, ecology, and translation studies. Placing these divergent fields of inquiry into dialogue enables us read Terence's well-known statement "I am a human being--I deem nothing…

  3. Human Trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David McKay

    2011-01-01

    The shadowy, criminal nature of human trafficking makes evaluating its nature and scope difficult. The U.S. State Department and anti-trafficking groups estimate that worldwide some 27 million people are caught in a form of forced servitude today. Public awareness of modern-day slavery is gaining momentum thanks to new abolitionist efforts. Among…

  4. Human monkeypox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezek, Z; Gromyko, A I; Szczeniowski, M V

    1983-01-01

    Human monkeypox, occurring in the tropical rainforest of west and central Africa, is regarded as the most important orthopoxvirus infection for epidemiological surveillance during the post-smallpox era. This disease, first recognized in Zaïre in 1970 resembles smallpox clinically but differs epidemiologically. Clinical features, their evolution and sequelae of monkeypox could be compared with discrete ordinary or modified type of smallpox. A case-fatality rate of 14% has been observed but some cases can be exceedingly mild or atypical and may easily remain undetected and unreported. Pronounced lymphadenopathy has been the only clinical feature found commonly in monkeypox but not in smallpox. Fifty-seven cases of human monkeypox have occurred since 1970, in the tropical rainforests in six west and central African countries, the majority of them (45) being reported from Zaïre. The disease appears to be more frequent in dry season. Children below ten years of age comprise 84% of the cases. Smallpox vaccination protects against monkeypox. Clusters of cases have been observed in certain areas within countries and within affected households. Human-to-human spread has possibly occurred seven times. No cases of possible tertiary spread were observed. The secondary attack rate among susceptible close household contacts was 10%, among all susceptible contacts 5%. This is much lower than that occurring with smallpox, which is between 25-40%. The limited avidity of monkeypox virus for human beings indicates that monkeypox is probably a zoonosis, although the animal reservoir(s) have not yet been identified. The low transmissibility, resulting in low frequency of disease in man indicates that monkeypox is not a public health problem. Human monkeypox has been a relatively newly recognized disease. Studies are in progress to identify the natural cycle of monkeypox virus and to define better its clinical and epidemiological characteristics. Special surveillance is maintained in

  5. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security : Relationships between four international 'human' discourses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractHuman rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each

  6. Human Development Report 2000: Human Rights and Human Development

    OpenAIRE

    United Nations Development Programme, UNDP

    2000-01-01

    The Human Development Report 2000 looks at human rights as an intrinsic part of development—and at development as a means to realizing human rights. It shows how human rights bring principles of accountability and social justice to the process of human development.

  7. Tetrodotoxin – Distribution and Accumulation in Aquatic Organisms, and Cases of Human Intoxication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osamu Arakawa

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Many pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae possess a potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX. In marine pufferfish species, toxicity is generally high in the liver and ovary, whereas in brackish water and freshwater species, toxicity is higher in the skin. In 1964, the toxin of the California newt was identified as TTX as well, and since then TTX has been detected in a variety of other organisms. TTX is produced primarily by marine bacteria, and pufferfish accumulate TTX via the food chain that begins with these bacteria. Consequently, pufferfish become non-toxic when they are fed TTX-free diets in an environment in which the invasion of TTX-bearing organisms is completely shut off. Although some researchers claim that the TTX of amphibians is endogenous, we believe that it also has an exogenous origin, i.e., from organisms consumed as food. TTX-bearing animals are equipped with a high tolerance to TTX, and thus retain or accumulate TTX possibly as a biologic defense substance. There have been many cases of human intoxication due to the ingestion of TTX-bearing pufferfish, mainly in Japan, China, and Taiwan, and several victims have died. Several cases of TTX intoxication due to the ingestion of small gastropods, including some lethal cases, were recently reported in China and Taiwan, revealing a serious public health issue.

  8. The human taste receptor hTAS2R14 responds to a variety of different bitter compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, Maik; Brockhoff, Anne; Kuhn, Christina; Bufe, Bernd; Winnig, Marcel; Meyerhof, Wolfgang

    2004-06-25

    The recent advances in the functional expression of TAS2Rs in heterologous systems resulted in the identification of bitter tastants that specifically activate receptors of this family. All bitter taste receptors reported to date exhibit a pronounced selectivity for single substances or structurally related bitter compounds. In the present study we demonstrate the expression of the hTAS2R14 gene by RT-PCR analyses and in situ hybridisation in human circumvallate papillae. By functional expression in HEK-293T cells we show that hTAS2R14 displays a, so far, unique broad tuning towards a variety of structurally diverse bitter compounds, including the potent neurotoxins, (-)-alpha-thujone, the pharmacologically active component of absinthe, and picrotoxinin, a poisonous substance of fishberries. The observed activation of heterologously expressed hTAS2R14 by low concentrations of (-)-alpha-thujone and picrotoxinin suggests that the receptor is sufficiently sensitive to caution us against the ingestion of toxic amounts of these substances.

  9. Virulence genes of Aeromonas isolates, bacterial endotoxins and cyanobacterial toxins from recreational water samples associated with human health symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Katri A; Lyra, Christina; Niemi, R Maarit; Heens, Benoit; Hoppu, Kalle; Erkomaa, Kirsti; Sivonen, Kaarina; Rapala, Jarkko

    2011-12-01

    Exposure to cyanobacterial water blooms has been associated with various kinds of adverse health effects. In addition to cyanobacteria and their toxins, the bacteria associated with cyanobacteria could also be the etiological agents. We isolated Aeromonas strains (n = 176) from water samples (n = 38) taken from sites where cyanobacteria were suspected to have caused human health symptoms, of which fever and gastrointestinal symptoms were the most common. The isolates were screened by PCR for six virulence gene types (12 genes). The majority (90%) of the strains contained at least one of the virulence genes. Most common amplification products were those of genes (act/aerA/hlyA) that encode cytotoxic enterotoxin and haemolytic products. The genes encoding cytotonic enterotoxins (ast and alt), phospholipase (lip/pla/lipH3/alp-1), elastase (ahyB) and flagellin subunits (flaA/flaB) were also present in 5-37% of the Aeromonas strains. Analysed toxins (cyanobacterial hepatotoxins and neurotoxins, and bacterial endotoxins) were not detectable or were present in only low concentrations in the majority of the samples. The results indicated that the toxins were unlikely to be the main cause of the reported adverse health effects, whereas more attention should be paid to bacteria associated with cyanobacteria as a source of health effects.

  10. Differential susceptibilities of human lung, breast and skin cancer cell lines to killing by five sea anemone venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Ramezanpour

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although sea anemones are well known for being rich sources of toxins, including cytolysins and neurotoxins, their venoms and toxins have been poorly studied. In the present study, the venoms from five sea anemones (Heteractis crispa, Heteractis magnifica, Heteractis malu, Cryptodendrum adhaesivum and Entacmaea quadricolor were obtained by the milking technique, and the potential of these venoms to kill cancer cells was tested on three cell lines (A549 lung cancer, T47D breast cancer and A431 skin cancer. The total protein level in the crude extract was determined by the bicinchoninic acid (BCA protein assay. The cytotoxicity on different cell lines was assayed using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2yl-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT assay which measures survival based on the detection of mitochondrial activity and by the crystal violet assay, which measures survival based on the ability of cells to remain adherent to microplates. The results indicate that the sea anemone venom is cytotoxic to human cancer cells. The A549 cell line was the most sensitive of the cell lines tested with a significant reduction in viability observed at 40 µg/mL. H. malu, C. adhaesivum and E. quadricolor had a significant inhibitory effect on A431 cells. Furthermore, H. malu and C. adhaesivum had a significant inhibitory effect on T47D cell line at 40 µg/mL. In conclusion, the sea anemone venoms tested have the potential to be developed as anticancer agents.

  11. Human Rights in the Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpham, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Human rights are rapidly entering the academic curriculum, with programs appearing all over the country--including at Duke, Harvard, Northeastern, and Stanford Universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Universities of Chicago, of Connecticut, of California at Berkeley, and of Minnesota; and Trinity College. Most of these…

  12. Human Protothecosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lass-Flörl, Cornelia; Mayr, Astrid

    2007-01-01

    Human protothecosis is a rare infection caused by members of the genus Prototheca. Prototheca species are generally considered to be achlorophyllic algae and are ubiquitous in nature. The occurrence of protothecosis can be local or disseminated and acute or chronic, with the latter being more common. Diseases have been classified as (i) cutaneous lesions, (ii) olecranon bursitis, or (iii) disseminated or systemic manifestations. Infections can occur in both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients, although more severe and disseminated infections tend to occur in immunocompromised individuals. Prototheca wickerhamii and Prototheca zopfii have been associated with human disease. Usually, treatment involves medical and surgical approaches; treatment failure is not uncommon. Antifungals such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and amphotericin B are the most commonly used drugs to date. Among them, amphotericin B displays the best activity against Prototheca spp. Diagnosis is largely made upon detection of characteristic structures observed on histopathologic examination of tissue. PMID:17428884

  13. Development of a comparative risk ranking system for agents posing a bioterrorism threat to human or animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomuzia, Katharina; Menrath, Andrea; Frentzel, Hendrik; Filter, Matthias; Weiser, Armin A; Bräunig, Juliane; Buschulte, Anja; Appel, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    Various systems for prioritizing biological agents with respect to their applicability as biological weapons are available, ranging from qualitative to (semi)quantitative approaches. This research aimed at generating a generic risk ranking system applicable to human and animal pathogenic agents based on scientific information. Criteria were evaluated and clustered to create a criteria list. Considering availability of data, a number of 28 criteria separated by content were identified that can be classified in 11 thematic areas or categories. Relevant categories contributing to probability were historical aspects, accessibility, production efforts, and possible paths for dispersion. Categories associated with impact are dealing with containment measures, availability of diagnostics, preventive and treatment measures in human and animal populations, impact on society, human and veterinary public health, and economic and ecological consequences. To allow data-based scoring, each criterion was described by at least 1 measure that allows the assignment of values. These values constitute quantities, ranges, or facts that are as explicit and precise as possible. The consideration of minimum and maximum values that can occur due to natural variations and that are often described in the literature led to the development of minimum and maximum criteria and consequently category scores. Missing or incomplete data, and uncertainty resulting therefrom, were integrated into the scheme via a cautious (but not overcautious) approach. The visualization technique that was used allows the description and illustration of uncertainty on the level of probability and impact. The developed risk ranking system was evaluated by assessing the risk originating from the bioterrorism threat of the animal pathogen bluetongue virus, the human pathogen Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7, the zoonotic Bacillus anthracis, and Botulinum neurotoxin.

  14. Human paleoneurology

    CERN Document Server

    2015-01-01

    The book presents an integrative review of paleoneurology, the study of endocranial morphology in fossil species. The main focus is on showing how computed methods can be used to support advances in evolutionary neuroanatomy, paleoanthropology and archaeology and how they have contributed to creating a completely new perspective in cognitive neuroscience. Moreover, thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, the book addresses students and researchers approaching human paleoneurology from different angles and for different purposes, such as biologists, physicians, anthropologists, archaeologists

  15. Human Cloning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-20

    research group, headed by Douglas Melton and Kevin Eggan, submitted their proposal to a Harvard committee composed of ethicists, scientists and public...United States. Although the company offered no proof of its claim, Dr . Brigette Boisselier, Managing Director of Clonaid, stated that genetic tests would...a year of the Dolly announcement, concerns over human cloning were heightened when Dr . Richard Seed, a Chicago scientist, announced on January 7

  16. Human universe

    CERN Document Server

    Cox, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Human life is a staggeringly strange thing. On the surface of a ball of rock falling around a nuclear fireball in the blackness of a vacuum the laws of nature conspired to create a naked ape that can look up at the stars and wonder where it came from. What is a human being? Objectively, nothing of consequence. Particles of dust in an infinite arena, present for an instant in eternity. Clumps of atoms in a universe with more galaxies than people. And yet a human being is necessary for the question itself to exist, and the presence of a question in the universe - any question - is the most wonderful thing. Questions require minds, and minds bring meaning. What is meaning? I don't know, except that the universe and every pointless speck inside it means something to me. I am astonished by the existence of a single atom, and find my civilisation to be an outrageous imprint on reality. I don't understand it. Nobody does, but it makes me smile. This book asks questions about our origins, our destiny, and our place i...

  17. Tailor-made purified human platelet lysate concentrated in neurotrophins for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Ming-Li; Wu, Joe-Wei; Gouel, Flore; Jonneaux, Aurélie; Timmerman, Kelly; Renn, Ting-Yi; Laloux, Charlotte; Chang, Hung-Ming; Lin, Liang-Tzung; Devedjian, Jean-Christophe; Devos, David; Burnouf, Thierry

    2017-10-01

    Human platelet lysates (PLs), which contain multiple neurotrophins, have been proposed for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). However, current PLs suspended in plasma have high protein content and contain fibrinogen/fibrin and, following activation, also proteolytic and thrombogenic enzymes. Upon brain administration, such PLs may saturate the cerebrospinal fluid and exert neurotoxicity. We assessed whether purified PLs, concentrated in neurotrophins, protected dopaminergic neurons in PD models. Platelet concentrates were collected by apheresis and centrifuged to eliminate plasma and recover the platelets. Platelets were lysed by freeze-thaw cycles, and the 10-fold concentrated platelet pellet lysates (PPLs) were heat-treated (at 56 °C for 30 min). The heat-treated PPLs were low in total proteins, depleted in both plasma and platelet fibrinogen, and devoid of thrombogenic and proteolytic activities. They exerted very high neuroprotective activity when non-oncogenic, Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES) cells that had differentiated into dopaminergic neurons were exposed to the MPP(+) neurotoxin. Heat treatment improved the neuroprotection and inactivated the neurotoxic blood-borne hepatitis C virus. PPL did not induce inflammation in BV2 microglial cells and inhibited COX-2 expression upon lipopolysaccharide exposure. Intranasal administration in mice revealed (a) diffusion of neurotrophins in the striatum and cortex, and (b) MPTP intoxication neuroprotection in the substantia nigra and striatum and the absence of neuroinflammation. These dedicated heat-treated PPLs can be a safe and valuable candidate for a therapeutic strategy for PD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Human Being Human: Culture and the Soul

    OpenAIRE

    Hauke, Chris

    2005-01-01

    Human Being Human explores the classical question 'What is a human being?'\\ud \\ud In examining our human being, Christopher Hauke challenges the notion of human nature, questions the assumed superiority of human consciousness and rational thinking and pays close attention to the contradiction of living simultaneously as an autonomous individual and a member of the collective community. The main chapters include:\\ud \\ud who's in charge here?\\ud knowledge power and human being\\ud that thinking ...

  19. BDNF Increases Survival and Neuronal Differentiation of Human Neural Precursor Cells Cotransplanted with a Nanofiber Gel to the Auditory Nerve in a Rat Model of Neuronal Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Jiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To study possible nerve regeneration of a damaged auditory nerve by the use of stem cell transplantation. Methods. We transplanted HNPCs to the rat AN trunk by the internal auditory meatus (IAM. Furthermore, we studied if addition of BDNF affects survival and phenotypic differentiation of the grafted HNPCs. A bioactive nanofiber gel (PA gel, in selected groups mixed with BDNF, was applied close to the implanted cells. Before transplantation, all rats had been deafened by a round window niche application of β-bungarotoxin. This neurotoxin causes a selective toxic destruction of the AN while keeping the hair cells intact. Results. Overall, HNPCs survived well for up to six weeks in all groups. However, transplants receiving the BDNF-containing PA gel demonstrated significantly higher numbers of HNPCs and neuronal differentiation. At six weeks, a majority of the HNPCs had migrated into the brain stem and differentiated. Differentiated human cells as well as neurites were observed in the vicinity of the cochlear nucleus. Conclusion. Our results indicate that human neural precursor cells (HNPC integration with host tissue benefits from additional brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF treatment and that these cells appear to be good candidates for further regenerative studies on the auditory nerve (AN.

  20. Introduction: Digital Humanities, Public Humanities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Christie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available NANO: New American Notes Online: An Interdisciplinary Academic Journal for Big Ideas in a Small World. This special issue shows how both public and digital humanities research can be rendered more persuasive through engagement with cultures beyond the academy. More specifically, the aim of this special issue is to demonstrate how investments in technologies and computation are not necessarily antithetical to investments in critical theory and social justice.

  1. Human Computing, Virtual Humans and Artificial Imperfection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruttkay, Z.M.; Reidsma, Dennis; Nijholt, Antinus; Quek, F.; Yang, Y.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we raise the issue whether imperfections, characteristic of human-human communication, should be taken into account when developing virtual humans. We argue that endowing virtual humans with the imperfections of humans can help making them more ‘comfortable’ to interact with. That is,

  2. Human Capital, (Human) Capabilities and Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Grange, L.

    2011-01-01

    In this article I initiate a debate into the (de)merits of human capital theory and human capability theory and discuss implications of the debate for higher education. Human capital theory holds that economic growth depends on investment in education and that economic growth is the basis for improving the quality of human life. Human capable…

  3. Humanizing Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft, Tanya Søndergaard

    2015-01-01

    The article proposes the urban digital gallery as an opportunity to explore the relationship between ‘human’ and ‘technology,’ through the programming of media architecture. It takes a curatorial perspective when proposing an ontological shift from considering media facades as visual spectacles...... agency and a sense of being by way of dematerializing architecture. This is achieved by way of programming the symbolic to provide new emotional realizations and situations of enlightenment in the public audience. This reflects a greater potential to humanize the digital in media architecture....

  4. Think Human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Charlotte Marie Bisgaard

    2013-01-01

    The paper probes the background of the dire rhetoric of the Danish National Health Board’s 40 week anti-alcohol consumption campaign, in particular the model of communication implied by the campaign's strategy. Contrasting the campaign's strategy in 2011 with the results of evaluations of previous...... years' campaigns suggests that the theory of communication underlying the campaign has its basis in mechanical action rather than in human communication. The practice of 'Communication design' is investigated in relation to this metaphorical 'machine thinking' model of communication and contrasted...

  5. Human Factors Planning Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    To ensure human factors considerations are fully incorporated in the system : development, the Integrated Product Team (IPT) or Program Manager initiates a : Human Factors Program (HFP) that addresses the human performance and human : resource parame...

  6. The Digital Humanities as a Humanities Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Patrik

    2012-01-01

    This article argues that the digital humanities can be seen as a humanities project in a time of significant change in the academy. The background is a number of scholarly, educational and technical challenges, the multiple epistemic traditions linked to the digital humanities, the potential reach of the field across and outside the humanities,…

  7. NATO Human View Architecture and Human Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Holly A. H.; Houston, Nancy P.

    2010-01-01

    The NATO Human View is a system architectural viewpoint that focuses on the human as part of a system. Its purpose is to capture the human requirements and to inform on how the human impacts the system design. The viewpoint contains seven static models that include different aspects of the human element, such as roles, tasks, constraints, training and metrics. It also includes a Human Dynamics component to perform simulations of the human system under design. One of the static models, termed Human Networks, focuses on the human-to-human communication patterns that occur as a result of ad hoc or deliberate team formation, especially teams distributed across space and time. Parameters of human teams that effect system performance can be captured in this model. Human centered aspects of networks, such as differences in operational tempo (sense of urgency), priorities (common goal), and team history (knowledge of the other team members), can be incorporated. The information captured in the Human Network static model can then be included in the Human Dynamics component so that the impact of distributed teams is represented in the simulation. As the NATO militaries transform to a more networked force, the Human View architecture is an important tool that can be used to make recommendations on the proper mix of technological innovations and human interactions.

  8. Centers for Oceans and Human Health: a unified approach to the challenge of harmful algal blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdner, Deana L; Dyble, Julianne; Parsons, Michael L; Stevens, Richard C; Hubbard, Katherine A; Wrabel, Michele L; Moore, Stephanie K; Lefebvre, Kathi A; Anderson, Donald M; Bienfang, Paul; Bidigare, Robert R; Parker, Micaela S; Moeller, Peter; Brand, Larry E; Trainer, Vera L

    2008-11-07

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are one focus of the national research initiatives on Oceans and Human Health (OHH) at NIEHS, NOAA and NSF. All of the OHH Centers, from the east coast to Hawaii, include one or more research projects devoted to studying HAB problems and their relationship to human health. The research shares common goals for understanding, monitoring and predicting HAB events to protect and improve human health: understanding the basic biology of the organisms; identifying how chemistry, hydrography and genetic diversity influence blooms; developing analytical methods and sensors for cells and toxins; understanding health effects of toxin exposure; and developing conceptual, empirical and numerical models of bloom dynamics. In the past several years, there has been significant progress toward all of the common goals. Several studies have elucidated the effects of environmental conditions and genetic heterogeneity on bloom dynamics. New methods have been developed or implemented for the detection of HAB cells and toxins, including genetic assays for Pseudo-nitzschia and Microcystis, and a biosensor for domoic acid. There have been advances in predictive models of blooms, most notably for the toxic dinoflagellates Alexandrium and Karenia. Other work is focused on the future, studying the ways in which climate change may affect HAB incidence, and assessing the threat from emerging HABs and toxins, such as the cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine. Along the way, many challenges have been encountered that are common to the OHH Centers and also echo those of the wider HAB community. Long-term field data and basic biological information are needed to develop accurate models. Sensor development is hindered by the lack of simple and rapid assays for algal cells and especially toxins. It is also critical to adequately understand the human health effects of HAB toxins. Currently, we understand best the effects of acute toxicity, but almost

  9. Digital Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Hans Jørn

    2015-01-01

    overgangen fra trykkekultur til digital kultur. For det første problemstillingen omkring digitalisering af litterær kulturarv med fokus på kodning og tagging af teksten samt organisering i hypertekststrukturer. For det andet reorganiseringen af det digitale dokument i dataelementer og database. For det......Artiklen præsenterer først nogle generelle problemstillinger omkring Digital Humanities (DH) med det formål at undersøge dem nærmere i relation til konkrete eksempler på forskellige digitaliseringsmåder og ændringer i dokumentproduktion. I en nærmere afgrænsning vælger artiklen den tendens i DH......, der betragter DH som forbundet med "making" og "building" af digitale objekter og former. Dette kan også karakteriseres som DH som praktisk-produktiv vending. Artiklen har valgt tre typer af digitalisering. De er valgt ud fra, at de skal repræsentere forskellige måder at håndtere digitaliseringen på...

  10. Human Rhinoviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamson, Daryl M.; St. George, Kirsten; Walsh, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs), first discovered in the 1950s, are responsible for more than one-half of cold-like illnesses and cost billions of dollars annually in medical visits and missed days of work. Advances in molecular methods have enhanced our understanding of the genomic structure of HRV and have led to the characterization of three genetically distinct HRV groups, designated groups A, B, and C, within the genus Enterovirus and the family Picornaviridae. HRVs are traditionally associated with upper respiratory tract infection, otitis media, and sinusitis. In recent years, the increasing implementation of PCR assays for respiratory virus detection in clinical laboratories has facilitated the recognition of HRV as a lower respiratory tract pathogen, particularly in patients with asthma, infants, elderly patients, and immunocompromised hosts. Cultured isolates of HRV remain important for studies of viral characteristics and disease pathogenesis. Indeed, whether the clinical manifestations of HRV are related directly to viral pathogenicity or secondary to the host immune response is the subject of ongoing research. There are currently no approved antiviral therapies for HRVs, and treatment remains primarily supportive. This review provides a comprehensive, up-to-date assessment of the basic virology, pathogenesis, clinical epidemiology, and laboratory features of and treatment and prevention strategies for HRVs. PMID:23297263

  11. ESCRT (Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport) Machinery Is Essential for Acrosomal Exocytosis in Human Sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pocognoni, Cristian A; Berberián, María Victoria; Mayorga, Luis S

    2015-11-01

    The sperm acrosome reaction is a unique, regulated exocytosis characterized by the secretion of the acrosomal content and the release of hybrid vesicles formed by patches of the outer acrosomal and plasma membranes. In previous reports, we have shown that inward invaginations of the acrosomal membrane delineate ring-shaped membrane microdomains that contact the plasma membrane. We have postulated that the opening and expansion of fusion pores along these rings trigger acrosomal exocytosis. The invaginations of the acrosomal membrane topologically resemble the deformations of the endosomal membrane leading to the assembly of luminal vesicles in multivesicular bodies. In fact, intra-acrosomal vesicles are also formed during acrosomal exocytosis. Endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) participates in the organization of membrane microdomains that are invaginated and released as intraluminal vesicles in endosomes. We report here that members of ESCRT I (TSG101), ESCRT III (CHMP4), and the AAA ATPase VPS4 are present in the acrosomal region of the human sperm. Perturbing the function of these factors with antibodies or recombinant proteins inhibited acrosomal exocytosis in permeabilized cells. A similar effect was observed with a dominant-negative mutant of VPS4A cross-linked to a cell-penetrating peptide in nonpermeabilized sperm stimulated with a calcium ionophore. When the function of ESCRTs was inhibited, acrosomes showed abnormal deformation of the acrosomal membrane, and SNARE proteins that participate in acrosomal exocytosis failed to be stabilized in neurotoxin-resistant complexes. However, the growing of membrane invaginations was not blocked, and numerous intra-acrosomal vesicles were observed. These observations indicate that ESCRT-mediated processes are essential for acrosomal secretion, implicating these multifunctional complexes in an exocytic event crucial for sperm-egg fusion. © 2015 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  12. Crotoxin in humans: analysis of the effects on extraocular and facial muscles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo de Barros Ribeiro

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Crotoxin is the main neurotoxin of South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. The neurotoxic action is characterized by a presynaptic blockade. The purpose of this research is to assess the ability of crotoxin to induce temporary paralysis of extraocular and facial muscles in humans. METHODS: Doses of crotoxin used ranged from 2 to 5 units (U, each unit corresponding to one LD50. We first applied 2U of crotoxin in one of the extraocular muscles of 3 amaurotic individuals to be submitted to ocular evisceration. In the second stage, we applied crotoxin in 12 extraocular muscles of 9 patients with strabismic amblyopia. In the last stage, crotoxin was used in the treatment of blepharospasm in another 3 patients. RESULTS: No patient showed any systemic side effect or change in vision or any eye structure problem after the procedure. The only local side effects observed were slight conjunctival hyperemia, which recovered spontaneously. In 2 patients there was no change in ocular deviation after 2U crotoxin application. Limitation of the muscle action was observed in 8 of the 12 applications. The change in ocular deviation after application of 2U of crotoxin (9 injections was in average 15.7 prism diopters (PD. When the dose was 4U (2 applications the change was in average 37.5 PD and a single application of 5U produced a change of 16 PD in ocular deviation. This effect lasted from 1 to 3 months. Two of the 3 patients with blepharospasm had the hemifacial spasm improved with crotoxin, which returned after 2 months. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides data suggesting that crotoxin may be a useful new therapeutic option for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm. We expect that with further studies crotoxin could be an option for many other medical areas.

  13. Human Factors in Human-Systems Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitts, David J.; Sandor, Aniko; Litaker, Harry L., Jr.; Tillman, Barry

    2008-01-01

    Any large organization whose mission is to design and develop systems for humans, and train humans needs a well-developed integration and process plan to deal with the challenges that arise from managing multiple subsystems. Human capabilities, skills, and needs must be considered early in the design and development process, and must be continuously considered throughout the development lifecycle. This integration of human needs within system design is typically formalized through a Human-Systems Integration (HSI) program. By having an HSI program, an institution or organization can reduce lifecycle costs and increase the efficiency, usability, and quality of its products because human needs have been considered from the beginning.

  14. Humane Education: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitlock, Eileen S.; Westerlund, Stuart R.

    This booklet traces the historical development of human education as it has been instilled into the young people of America from colonial times to the present and provides a future prognosis of humaneness in the schools. Humane education promotes humane behavior and is an important part of the humane movement in the United States, although until…

  15. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin for the Treatment of Movement Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this disorder. Will BoNT help my facial spasms (hemifacial spasms)? There is good evidence that BoNT injection is useful in treating hemifacial spasms. People with hemifacial spasms who have had BoNT ...

  16. Structure-Function Relationship of Hydrophiidae Postsynaptic Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-03-11

    gland powder, and the resulting paste was ground (using a moctar and pestle ) for 40 min at 4 ’C. The paste was then suspended in approximately 600 ml...Singapore and the International Society on Toxinology, Singapore, Malaysia , p. 299. Kharin, V.E. (1984) Proc. Zool. Instit,. Leningrad 124: 128. Khole, V...Eds.) Venom and Toxin Research Group, National University of Singapore and the International Society on Toxinology, Singapore, Malaysia , p. 281

  17. Onset Dynamics of Type A Botulinum Neurotoxin-Induced Paralysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lebeda, Frank J; Adler, Michael; Erickson, Keith; Chushak, Yaroslav

    2008-01-01

    .... We tested the hypothesis that mathematical models having a minimal number of reactions and reactants can simulate published data concerning the onset of paralysis of skeletal muscles induced by BoNT...

  18. NMR Identification and MS Conformation of the Scopolamine Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Hydrobromide/Hydrochloride Salts. J. Org. Chem. 1999, 64, 9217-24. 43. Nakamura, M.; Yasumoto, T. Tetrodotoxin derivatives in Puffer Fish . Toxicon. 1985, 23...271-6. 44. Yotsu-Yamashita, M.; Schimmele, B.; Yasumoto, T. Isolation and Structural Assignment of 5-Deoxytetrodotoxin from the Puffer Fish Fufu

  19. Treatment of Chronic Migraine with Focus on Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara M. Schaefer

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, and contributes to disability and large healthcare costs in the United States and the world. The treatment of migraine until recently has focused on medications, both abortive and prophylactic, but treatment of chronic migraine has been revolutionized with the introduction of botulinum toxin injection therapy. In this review, we explore the current understanding of migraine pathophysiology, and the evolution of the use of botulinum toxin therapy including proposed pathophysiological mechanisms through animal data. We also discuss the similarities and differences between three injection techniques.

  20. Extreme Sensitivity of Botulinum Neurotoxin Domains Toward Mild Agitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    anti- gens to aluminum salt adjuvants . J Pharm Sci 96: 2375–2389. 10. Silvaggi NR, Boldt GE, Hixon MS, Kennedy JP, Tzipori S, Janda KD, Allen KN...nature of LC and Hc domains make them ideal tools for drug develop- ment and as vaccine candidates. The catalytic activity of the recombinant LC of...of botulinum toxin. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 308:857–864. 6. Park JB, Simpson LL. 2004. Progress toward devel- opment of an inhalation vaccine against

  1. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridial Strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    fragment length polymorphism analysis of Norwegian Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis soil isolates. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:4863–4873...seven toxin genes of the serotypes were compared and showed various degrees of interrelat- edness and recombination, as was previously noted for the...environmental toxin sensors, diagnostic tests for botulism, and specific coun- termeasures for the prevention and treatment of intoxication have become

  2. Host Response to Botulinum Neurotoxins for Developing Diagnostics and Antidotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-18

    cytosol to block neurotransmitter release. BoNTs possess Zn2+ endopeptidase activity against a select group of neuronal proteins involved in the exocytosis ...2M sulfuric acid and the absorbance was measured at 490 nm. The antibody titer of the sera was 7 measured by plotting absorbance vs. serum dilution...2007) BoNT/A and Hn-33 seem to translocate at a similar rate , the mixture of the two enhances the translocation of BoNT/A and Hn-33 each by about

  3. Exploitation of Botulinum Neurotoxins for Research and Clinical Purposes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-06-01

    agenesis . Thus, results to date dictate that the desired non-toxic transporter can be readily constructed by routine reconstitution (involving S-S...structures which fell into 3 groups: uncoated vesicles, large vesicles and multi- vesicular bodies with mean sizes of 50, 165 and • 400 rim, respectively...vesicles and multi- vesicular bodies in which grains were located are typical endocytotic structures corresponding to early and late endosomes

  4. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-26

    Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina 9Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, U.S...USA 13Los Alamos National Laboratories, Los Alamos, New Mexico , USA 14National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and...ACG50065 A6 CDC 41370 food/ Mexico ACW83608 A7 2008-148 enchiladas/France, 2008 AFV13854 A8 Chemnitz green bean salad/Germany, 2007 AJA05787 BoNT

  5. Primary Cell Culture for Evaluation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Antagonists

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sheridan, Robert E; Smith, Theresa J; Adler, Michael

    2005-01-01

    .... When spinal cord cultures were exposed to BoNT/A for 24 h, inhibition of 3[H]-glycine release was detected at toxin concentrations as low as 10-14 M, and complete inhibition was observed at concentration >10-12 M...

  6. IVI human factors strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-11-01

    This document focuses on human factors research that supports the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI). The status of the problem areas within categories used often by the human factors community to organize human factors process is discussed. A simi...

  7. Human Factors Job Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-12-09

    The purpose of this Human Factors Job Aid is to serve as a desk reference for : human factors integration during system acquisition. The first chapter contains : an overview of the FAA human factors process in system acquisitions. The : remaining eig...

  8. The golden triangle of human dignity: human security, human development and human rights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaay Fortman, B. de

    2004-01-01

    The success or failure of processes of democratization cannot be detached from processes of development related to the aspirations of people at the grassroots. Human rights, in a more theoretical terminology, require human development in order to enhance human security.

  9. Human-machine interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, J Chris [Sandia Park, NM; Xavier, Patrick G [Albuquerque, NM; Abbott, Robert G [Albuquerque, NM; Brannon, Nathan G [Albuquerque, NM; Bernard, Michael L [Tijeras, NM; Speed, Ann E [Albuquerque, NM

    2009-04-28

    Digital technology utilizing a cognitive model based on human naturalistic decision-making processes, including pattern recognition and episodic memory, can reduce the dependency of human-machine interactions on the abilities of a human user and can enable a machine to more closely emulate human-like responses. Such a cognitive model can enable digital technology to use cognitive capacities fundamental to human-like communication and cooperation to interact with humans.

  10. Special Section: Human Rights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frydenlund, Knut; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Eleven articles examine human rights in Europe. Topics include unemployment, human rights legislation, role of the Council of Europe in promoting human rights, labor unions, migrant workers, human dignity in industralized societies, and international violence. Journal available from Council of Europe, Directorate of Press and Information, 67006…

  11. ISS Payload Human Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenberger, Richard; Duvall, Laura; Dory, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The ISS Payload Human Factors Implementation Team (HFIT) is the Payload Developer's resource for Human Factors. HFIT is the interface between Payload Developers and ISS Payload Human Factors requirements in SSP 57000. ? HFIT provides recommendations on how to meet the Human Factors requirements and guidelines early in the design process. HFIT coordinates with the Payload Developer and Astronaut Office to find low cost solutions to Human Factors challenges for hardware operability issues.

  12. Depressive-like phenotype induced by AAV-mediated overexpression of human α-synuclein in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caudal, D; Alvarsson, A; Björklund, A; Svenningsson, P

    2015-11-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons and by the presence of aggregates containing α-synuclein called Lewy bodies. Viral vector-induced overexpression of α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons represents a model of PD which recapitulates disease progression better than commonly used neurotoxin models. Previous studies using this model have reported motor and cognitive impairments, whereas depression, mood and anxiety phenotypes are less described. To investigate these psychiatric phenotypes, Sprague-Dawley rats received bilateral injections of a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector expressing human α-synuclein or GFP into the substantia nigra pars compacta. Behavior was assessed at two timepoints: 3 and 8 weeks post-injection. We report that nigral α-synuclein overexpression led to a pronounced nigral dopaminergic cell loss accompanied by a smaller cell loss in the ventral tegmental area, and to a decreased striatal density of dopaminergic fibers. The AAV-α-synuclein group exhibited modest, but significant motor impairments 8 weeks after vector administration. The AAV-α-synuclein group displayed depressive-like behavior in the forced swim test after 3 weeks, and reduced sucrose preference at week 8. At both timepoints, overexpression of α-synuclein was linked to a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation of corticosterone. The depressive-like phenotype was also correlated with decreased nigral brain-derived neurotrophic factor and spinophilin levels, and with decreased striatal levels of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein. This study demonstrates that AAV-mediated α-synuclein overexpression in dopamine neurons is not only useful to model motor impairments of PD, but also depression. This study also provides evidence that depression in experimental Parkinsonism is correlated to dysregulation of the HPA axis and to

  13. Human Dignity, Three Human Rights, and Pedagogy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenberg, Donald

    1986-01-01

    A general theory of value is outlined to show that moral agency is necessary to human dignity and that liberty, equality, and fraternity are necessary to moral agency. These ideals can be implemented in schools and human dignity can be at the core of the professional ethics of teaching. (MT)

  14. Human dignity, bioethics, and human rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häyry, Matti; Takala, Tuija

    2005-09-01

    The authors analyse and assess the Universal Draft Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights published by UNESCO. They argue that the Draft has two main weaknesses. It unnecessarily confines the scope of bioethics to life sciences and their practical applications. And it fails to spell out the intended role of human dignity in international ethical regulation.

  15. [Humanization in health care].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Beatriz Rosana Gonçalves de; Collet, Neusa; Viera, Cláudia Silveira

    2006-01-01

    This study aims to reflect on humanization in health care, recovering the history of understanding about mankind, the human and humanity, until humanization in humanity and health. We discuss the national humanization program in hospital care and reflect on this proposal and on the issue of humanization in Brazilian health care nowadays. Communication is indispensable to establish humanization, as well as technical and material conditions. Both users and health professionals need to be heard, building a network of dialogues to think and promote singular humanization actions. For this process to take effect, there is a need to involve the whole that makes up the health service. This group involves different professionals, such as managers, public policy makers, professional councils and education institutions.

  16. Fibrillization of human tau is accelerated by exposure to lead via interaction with His-330 and His-362.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Li Zhu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neurofibrillary tangles, mainly consisted of bundles of filaments formed by the microtubule-associated protein Tau, are a hallmark of Alzheimer disease. Lead is a potent neurotoxin for human being especially for the developing children, and Pb(2+ at high concentrations is found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer disease. However, it has not been reported so far whether Pb(2+ plays a role in the pathology of Alzheimer disease through interaction with human Tau protein and thereby mediates Tau filament formation. In this study, we have investigated the effect of Pb(2+ on fibril formation of recombinant human Tau fragment Tau(244-372 and its mutants at physiological pH. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: As revealed by thioflavin T and 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid fluorescence, the addition of 5-40 µM Pb(2+ significantly accelerates the exposure of hydrophobic region and filament formation of wild-type Tau(244-372 on the investigated time scale. As evidenced by circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, fibrils formed by wild-type Tau(244-372 in the presence of 5-40 µM Pb(2+ contain more β-sheet structure than the same amount of fibrils formed by the protein in the absence of Pb(2+. However, unlike wild-type Tau(244-372, the presence of 5-40 µM Pb(2+ has no obvious effects on fibrillization kinetics of single mutants H330A and H362A and double mutant H330A/H362A, and fibrils formed by such mutants in the absence and in the presence of Pb(2+ contain similar amounts of β-sheet structure. The results from isothermal titration calorimetry show that one Pb(2+ binds to one Tau monomer via interaction with His-330 and His-362, with sub-micromolar affinity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate for the first time that the fibrillization of human Tau protein is accelerated by exposure to lead via interaction with His-330 and His-362. Our results suggest the possible involvement of Pb(2+ in the

  17. Global Law: Humanism and Human Rights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leilane Serratine Grubba

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the ideal of human rights before globalizatórios inflows. It begins with a general statement about the legal globalization, comparing it with the Global Law in the political and economic implications. Later, it approaches the ideal predicted with transnationalism. Proposes a reflection on the present Human Rights. Also, rethinks the lines of the complex web of Global Law, its institutions and its actors, which circulate between the public and private plans. There is no sense in space maintenance of the ideal of human rights only in the state or territory in international treaties originally linked to the states.

  18. Human Resource Accounting System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerullo, Michael J.

    1974-01-01

    Main objectives of human resource accounting systems are to satisfy the informational demands made by investors and by operating managers. The paper's main concern is with the internal uses of a human asset system. (Author)

  19. Telling the Human Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Miles

    1987-01-01

    Proposes that one of the fundamental human attributes is telling stories. Explores the debate on whether Neanderthals possessed language ability. Discusses the role of the "human story" in teaching anthropology. (DH)

  20. Human Use Index (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Human land uses may have major impacts on ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, habitat, air and water quality. The human use index (also known as U-index) is the...

  1. Human Use Index

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Human land uses may have major impacts on ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, habitat, air and water quality. The human use index (also known as U-index) is the...

  2. Immunology Taught by Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Mark M

    2012-01-01

    After a half-century of mouse-dominated research, human immunology is making a comeback. Informed by mouse studies and powered by new techniques, human immune research is both advancing disease treatment and providing new insights into basic biology.

  3. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search The CDC Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... 6348 Email CDC-INFO U.S. Department of Health & Human Services HHS/Open USA.gov TOP

  4. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine: What You Need to Know (VIS) ... Why get vaccinated? HPV vaccine prevents infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with many ...

  5. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Why get vaccinated?HPV vaccine prevents infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with cause ... at http://www.cdc.gov/hpv. HPV Vaccine (Human Papillomavirus) Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and ...

  6. Human Parainfluenza Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search The CDC Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs) Note: Javascript is disabled or ... CDC.gov . Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) commonly cause respiratory illnesses in ...

  7. Human bites (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human bites present a high risk of infection. Besides the bacteria which can cause infection, there is ... the wound extends below the skin. Anytime a human bite has broken the skin, seek medical attention.

  8. HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Consumers Consumer Information by Audience For Women HPV (human papillomavirus) Share Tweet Linkedin Pin it More sharing ... Español In Chamorro In Urdu In Vietnamese HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus. It is ...

  9. Humane Education in Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savesky, Kathy

    1981-01-01

    Provides a brief history and description of a field test in the United States and Canada of the National Association for the Advancement of Humane Education's humane education curriculum guide for grades 1-6. (CS)

  10. Rapid Detection of Clostridium botulinum Toxins A, B, E, and F in Clinical Samples, Selected Food Matrices, and Buffer Using Paramagnetic Bead-Based Electrochemiluminescence Detection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rivera, Victor R; Gamez, Frank J; Keener, William K; White, Jill A; Poli, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    Sensitive and specific electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assays were used to detect Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins serotypes A, B, E, and F in undiluted human serum, undiluted human urine, assay buffer, and selected food matrices...

  11. Human papillomavirus molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden, Mallory E; Munger, Karl

    Human papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses with a tropism for squamous epithelia. A unique aspect of human papillomavirus molecular biology involves dependence on the differentiation status of the host epithelial cell to complete the viral lifecycle. A small group of these viruses are the etiologic agents of several types of human cancers, including oral and anogenital tract carcinomas. This review focuses on the basic molecular biology of human papillomaviruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Human Resource Management System

    OpenAIRE

    Navaz, A. S. Syed; Fiaz, A. S. Syed; Prabhadevi, C.; Sangeetha, V.; Gopalakrishnan, S.

    2013-01-01

    The paper titled HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is basically concerned with managing the Administrator of HUMAN RESOURCE Department in a company. A Human Resource Management System, refers to the systems and processes at the intersection between human resource management and information technology. It merges HRM as a discipline and in particular its basic HR activities and processes with the information technology field, whereas the programming of data processing systems evolved into standa...

  13. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan R. Templeton

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that human evolution has stopped because humans now adapt to their environment via cultural evolution and not biological evolution. However, all organisms adapt to their environment, and humans are no exception. Culture defines much of the human environment, so cultural evolution has actually led to adaptive evolution in humans. Examples are given to illustrate the rapid pace of adaptive evolution in response to cultural innovations. These adaptive responses have important implications for infectious diseases, Mendelian genetic diseases, and systemic diseases in current human populations. Moreover, evolution proceeds by mechanisms other than natural selection. The recent growth in human population size has greatly increased the reservoir of mutational variants in the human gene pool, thereby enhancing the potential for human evolution. The increase in human population size coupled with our increased capacity to move across the globe has induced a rapid and ongoing evolutionary shift in how genetic variation is distributed within and among local human populations. In particular, genetic differences between human populations are rapidly diminishing and individual heterozygosity is increasing, with beneficial health effects. Finally, even when cultural evolution eliminates selection on a trait, the trait can still evolve due to natural selection on other traits. Our traits are not isolated, independent units, but rather are integrated into a functional whole, so selection on one trait can cause evolution to occur on another trait, sometimes with mildly maladaptive consequences.

  14. International Human Rights Kit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woito, Robert, Ed.

    Designed for students, educators, and citizens interested in human rights, the booklet presents resources for learning about the facts, perspectives, and existing procedures and institutions to promote human rights. Chapter one explores the relationship between human rights and war. Chapter two presents a self-survey to help readers clarify…

  15. Human Machine Learning Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kenneth R.; Hoque, Md Tamjidul; Williams, Kim H.

    2017-01-01

    Human Machine Learning Symbiosis is a cooperative system where both the human learner and the machine learner learn from each other to create an effective and efficient learning environment adapted to the needs of the human learner. Such a system can be used in online learning modules so that the modules adapt to each learner's learning state both…

  16. Humanities Review Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Humanities Review Journal is published in June and December by Humanities Research Forum. The Journal publishes original, well-researched papers, review essays, interviews, resume, and commentaries, which offer new insights into the various disciplines in the Humanities. The focus is on issues about Africa.

  17. A Human Rights Glossary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers, Nancy

    1998-01-01

    Presents a human rights glossary that includes definitions of basic terms, treaties, charters, and groups/organizations that have been featured in previous articles in this edition of "Update on Law-Related Education"; the human rights terms have been compiled as part of the celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…

  18. Esprit: A Humanities Magazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Donald G.; Capella, Barry John

    In March 1984, the first issue of "Esprit," a semi-annual humanities magazine for the 56 two-year colleges in New York State, was published. The magazine seeks to confront the apparent decline of student interest in the humanities, community doubts about the relevance of the humanities, and the seeming indifference to the special truths…

  19. Visible Human Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... NLM Mobile Gallery Site Navigation Home The Visible Human Project ® Overview The Visible Human Project ® is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 ... dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection ...

  20. Modeling Human Leukemia Immunotherapy in Humanized Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinxing Xia

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The currently available human tumor xenograft models permit modeling of human cancers in vivo, but in immunocompromised hosts. Here we report a humanized mouse (hu-mouse model made by transplantation of human fetal thymic tissue plus hematopoietic stem cells transduced with a leukemia-associated fusion gene MLL-AF9. In addition to normal human lymphohematopoietic reconstitution as seen in non-leukemic hu-mice, these hu-mice showed spontaneous development of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL, which was transplantable to secondary recipients with an autologous human immune system. Using this model, we show that lymphopenia markedly improves the antitumor efficacy of recipient leukocyte infusion (RLI, a GVHD-free immunotherapy that induces antitumor responses in association with rejection of donor chimerism in mixed allogeneic chimeras. Our data demonstrate the potential of this leukemic hu-mouse model in modeling leukemia immunotherapy, and suggest that RLI may offer a safe treatment option for leukemia patients with severe lymphopenia.

  1. From Human Past to Human Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert G. Bednarik

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper begins with a refutation of the orthodox model of final Pleistocene human evolution, presenting an alternative, better supported account of this crucial phase. According to this version, the transition from robust to gracile humans during that period is attributable to selective breeding rather than natural selection, rendered possible by the exponential rise of culturally guided volitional choices. The rapid human neotenization coincides with the development of numerous somatic and neural detriments and pathologies. Uniformitarian reasoning based on ontogenic homology suggests that the cognitive abilities of hominins are consistently underrated in the unstable orthodoxies of Pleistocene archaeology. A scientifically guided review establishes developmental trajectories defining recent changes in the human genome and its expressions, which then form the basis of attempts to extrapolate from them into the future. It is suggested that continuing and perhaps accelerating unfavorable genetic changes to the human species, rather than existential threats such as massive disasters, pandemics, or astrophysical events, may become the ultimate peril of humanity.

  2. Human Beings And Water

    OpenAIRE

    Pakpahan, Putra Andika

    2016-01-01

    The writer of this paper on this writing is talking about the human beings and water. Water is one of the very fundamentally things that human beings need to keep their lives. Human beings sometimes do not realise that the water is very important for them because they actually cannot live their lives without the present of water. Human beings can keep their lives without rice, but cannot without water. For instances the use of water for human beings are domestic use, cooking, washing, bathing...

  3. Rethinking medical humanities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiapperino, Luca; Boniolo, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

    This paper questions different conceptions of Medical Humanities in order to provide a clearer understanding of what they are and why they matter. Building upon former attempts, we defend a conception of Medical Humanities as a humanistic problem-based approach to medicine aiming at influencing its nature and practice. In particular, we discuss three main conceptual issues regarding the overall nature of this discipline: (i) a problem-driven approach to Medical Humanities; (ii) the need for an integration of Medical Humanities into medicine; (iii) the methodological requirements that could render Medical Humanities an effective framework for medical decision-making.

  4. Situating Human Sexual Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Heather

    2017-11-01

    Conditioning is often thought of as a basic, automatic learning process that has limited applicability to higher-level human behavior. In addition, conditioning is seen as separable from, and even secondary to, "innate" processes. These ideas involve some misconceptions. The aim of this article is to provide a clearer, more refined sense of human sexual conditioning. After providing some background information and reviewing what is known from laboratory conditioning studies, human sexual conditioning is compared to sexual conditioning in nonhumans, to "innate" sexual responding, and to other types of human learning processes. Recommendations for moving forward in human sexual conditioning research are included.

  5. Integrated Environmental Modelling: human decisions, human challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, Pierre D.

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) is an invaluable tool for understanding the complex, dynamic ecosystems that house our natural resources and control our environments. Human behaviour affects the ways in which the science of IEM is assembled and used for meaningful societal applications. In particular, human biases and heuristics reflect adaptation and experiential learning to issues with frequent, sharply distinguished, feedbacks. Unfortunately, human behaviour is not adapted to the more diffusely experienced problems that IEM typically seeks to address. Twelve biases are identified that affect IEM (and science in general). These biases are supported by personal observations and by the findings of behavioural scientists. A process for critical analysis is proposed that addresses some human challenges of IEM and solicits explicit description of (1) represented processes and information, (2) unrepresented processes and information, and (3) accounting for, and cognizance of, potential human biases. Several other suggestions are also made that generally complement maintaining attitudes of watchful humility, open-mindedness, honesty and transparent accountability. These suggestions include (1) creating a new area of study in the behavioural biogeosciences, (2) using structured processes for engaging the modelling and stakeholder communities in IEM, and (3) using ‘red teams’ to increase resilience of IEM constructs and use.

  6. Oxytocin and Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, C Sue

    2017-08-16

    A small, but powerful neuropeptide, oxytocin coordinates processes that are central to both human reproduction and human evolution. Also embedded in the evolution of the human nervous system are unique pathways necessary for modern human sociality and cognition. Oxytocin is necessary for facilitating the birth process, especially in light of anatomical restrictions imposed by upright human locomotion, which depends on a fixed pelvis. Oxytocin, by facilitating birth, allowed the development of a large cortex and a protective bony cranium. The complex human brain in turn permitted the continuing emergence of social sensitivity, complex thinking, and language. After birth is complete, oxytocin continues to support human development by providing direct nutrition, in the form of human milk, and emotional and intellectual support through high levels of maternal behavior and selective attachment. Oxytocin also encourages social sensitivity and reciprocal attunement, on the part of both the mother and child, which are necessary for human social behavior and for rearing an emotionally healthy human child. Oxytocin supports growth during development, resilience, and healing across the lifespan. Oxytocin dynamically moderates the autonomic nervous system, and effects of oxytocin on vagal pathways allowing high levels of oxygenation and digestion necessary to support adaptation in a complex environment. Finally, oxytocin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping to explain the pervasive adaptive consequences of social behavior for emotional and physical health.

  7. Human Capital and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garry Jacobs

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A study of sustainability needs to consider the role of all forms of capital—natural, biological, social, technological, financial, cultural—and the complex ways in which they interact. All forms of capital derive their value, utility and application from human mental awareness, creativity and social innovation. This makes human capital, including social capital, the central determinant of resource productivity and sustainability. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene Epoch in which human changes have become the predominant factor in evolution. Humanity is itself evolving from animal physicality to social vitality to mental individuality. This transition has profound bearing on human productive capabilities, adaptability, creativity and values, the organization of economy, public policy, social awareness and life styles that determine sustainability. This article examines the linkages between population, economic development, employment, education, health, social equity, cultural values, energy intensity and sustainability in the context of evolving human consciousness. It concludes that development of human capital is the critical determinant of long-term sustainability and that efforts to accelerate the evolution of human consciousness and emergence of mentally self-conscious individuals will be the most effective approach for ensuring a sustainable future. Education is the primary lever. Human choice matters.

  8. Humanities, Digital Humanities, Media studies, Internet studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brügger, Niels

    Todays expanding digital landscape constitutes an important research object as well as the research environment for the Humanities at the beginning of the 21st century. Taking this state of affairs as a starting point this inaugural lecture presents a vision for how the digital affects the interp......Todays expanding digital landscape constitutes an important research object as well as the research environment for the Humanities at the beginning of the 21st century. Taking this state of affairs as a starting point this inaugural lecture presents a vision for how the digital affects...... the interplay between four areas which until now to a certain extent have been separated: Traditional Hu- manities, Digital Humanities, Media studies, and Internet studies. The vision is followed by an outline of how it can be unfolded in concrete activities, in the form of research projects, research...

  9. Human poisoning after ingestion of puffer fish caught from Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamandi, Suheil Chucrallah; Kallab, Kamal; Mattar, Hanna; Nader, Elie

    2009-06-01

    Puffer fish poisoning is due to a powerful neurotoxin produced by bacteria living in this kind of fish. Though the sea of Lebanon (Mediterranean) is not endemic of puffer fish and incidence of its serious poisoning is rare, yet occasional incidences do occur. The purpose of this presentation is to raise the awareness of fishermen, fish-restaurant frequenters, public health organizations and the Ministry of Health, of its serious symptomology and to seek medical help as soon as possible.

  10. Human Performance in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia M.; Fiedler, Edna

    2010-01-01

    Human factors is a critical discipline for human spaceflight. Nearly every human factors research area is relevant to space exploration -- from the ergonomics of hand tools used by astronauts, to the displays and controls of a spacecraft cockpit or mission control workstation, to levels of automation designed into rovers on Mars, to organizational issues of communication between crew and ground. This chapter focuses more on the ways in which the space environment (especially altered gravity and the isolated and confined nature of long-duration spaceflight) affects crew performance, and thus has specific novel implications for human factors research and practice. We focus on four aspects of human performance: neurovestibular integration, motor control and musculo-skeletal effects, cognitive effects, and behavioral health. We also provide a sampler of recent human factors studies from NASA.

  11. Bursty human dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Karsai, Márton; Kaski, Kimmo

    2018-01-01

    This book provides a comprehensive overview on emergent bursty patterns in the dynamics of human behaviour. It presents common and alternative understanding of the investigated phenomena, and points out open questions worthy of further investigations. The book is structured as follows. In the introduction the authors discuss the motivation of the field, describe bursty phenomena in case of human behaviour, and relate it to other disciplines. The second chapter addresses the measures commonly used to characterise heterogeneous signals, bursty human dynamics, temporal paths, and correlated behaviour. These definitions are first introduced to set the basis for the discussion of the third chapter about the observations of bursty human patterns in the dynamics of individuals, dyadic interactions, and collective behaviour. The subsequent fourth chapter discusses the models of bursty human dynamics. Various mechanisms have been proposed about the source of the heterogeneities in human dynamics, which leads to the in...

  12. Effects of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission on motor patterns of human sigmoid colon in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulí, M; Martínez, E; Gallego, D; Opazo, A; Espín, F; Martí-Gallostra, M; Jiménez, M; Clavé, P

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: To characterize the in vitro motor patterns and the neurotransmitters released by enteric motor neurons (EMNs) in the human sigmoid colon. Experimental approach: Sigmoid circular strips were studied in organ baths. EMNs were stimulated by electrical field stimulation (EFS) and through nicotinic ACh receptors. Key results: Strips developed weak spontaneous rhythmic contractions (3.67±0.49 g, 2.54±0.15 min) unaffected by the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX; 1 μM). EFS induced strong contractions during (on, 56%) or after electrical stimulus (off, 44%), both abolished by TTX. Nicotine (1–100 μM) inhibited spontaneous contractions. Latency of off-contractions and nicotine responses were reduced by NG-nitro-L-arginine (1 mM) and blocked after further addition of apamin (1 μM) or the P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (10 μM) and were unaffected by the P2X antagonist NF279 (10 μM) or α-chymotrypsin (10 U mL−1). Amplitude of on- and off-contractions was reduced by atropine (1 μM) and the selective NK2 receptor antagonist Bz-Ala-Ala-D-Trp-Phe-D-Pro-Pro-Nle-NH2 (1 μM). MRS 2179 reduced the amplitude of EFS on- and off-contractions without altering direct muscular contractions induced by ACh (1 nM–1 mM) or substance P (1 nM–10 μM). Conclusions and implications: Latency of EFS-induced off-contractions and inhibition of spontaneous motility by nicotine are caused by stimulation of inhibitory EMNs coreleasing NO and a purine acting at muscular P2Y1 receptors through apamin-sensitive K+ channels. EFS-induced on- and off-contractions are caused by stimulation of excitatory EMNs coreleasing ACh and tachykinins acting on muscular muscarinic and NK2 receptors. Prejunctional P2Y1 receptors might modulate the activity of excitatory EMNs. P2Y1 and NK2 receptors might be therapeutic targets for colonic motor disorders. PMID:18846038

  13. Outsourcing in Human Resource

    OpenAIRE

    Oliver Pamelan

    2017-01-01

    The research paper aimed to contribute to the literature of Human Resource Management Planning and employment through the widely used function of the outsourcing human resource. The research paper is based on the description of the process of outsourcing with the reference to the theories of outsourcing management activities. It also explained the effects of this function through measuring the benefits and drawbacks of the outsourcing human resource while planning the employment strategies. T...

  14. The Humanities Matter! Infographic

    OpenAIRE

    Terras, M. M.; Priego, E.; Liu, A.; Rockwell, G.; Sinclair, S.; Henseler, C.; Thomas, L.

    2013-01-01

    The Humanities are academic disciplines that seek to understand and interpret the human experience, from individuals to entire cultures, engaging in the discovery, preservation, and communication of the past and present record to enable a deeper understanding of contemporary society. The Humanities encompass literature, classics, ancient and modern languages, history, philoso - phy, media studies, the fine and performing arts, and other related subjects. It can be a challenge to show the bene...

  15. Human Resource Planning

    OpenAIRE

    Lache Cãtãlina

    2011-01-01

    The objective of human resource planning is to adapt the human capital needed to develop the enterprises’ activities and to accomplish their priority objectives on the medium and/or short term. Human resource planning is a dynamic activity, time being an essential variable, both in what regards the quantitative side (adapting the number of jobs according to the organisation’s evolution in time) and the qualitative side (harmonising the jobs’ complexity with technological changes). The quantit...

  16. Crimes against humanity

    OpenAIRE

    Podlahová, Veronika

    2014-01-01

    57 Resumé "Crimes against humanity" (the thesis title) Crimes against humanity constitute one of the three integral parts of "crimes under international law." At the same time they represent the most severe form of infringement of fundamental human rights that are as the principle value protected by the international community and its peremptory rules. Although these crimes have not emerged during the 20th century for the first time, it was the World War II., which established the term "crime...

  17. Modern Human Capital Management

    OpenAIRE

    Feldberger, Madita

    2008-01-01

    Title: Modern Human Capital Management Seminar date: 30th of May 2008 Course: Master thesis in Business Administration, 15 ECTS Authors: Madita Feldberger Supervisor: Lars Svensson Keywords: Human capital, SWOT Analysis, Strategic Map, Balanced Scorecard Research Problem: Despite of the success of Human Capital Management (HCM) in research it did not arrive yet in the HR departments of many companies. Numerous firms even have problems to set their strategic goals with focus on HR. The HR Bala...

  18. Human hemoglobin genetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Honig, G.R.; Adams, J.G.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains the following 10 chapters: Introduction; The Human Hemoglobins; The Human Globin Genes; Hemoglobin Synthesis and Globin Gene Expression; The Globin Gene Mutations - A. Mechanisms and Classification; The Globin Gene Mutations - B. Their Phenotypes and Clinical Expression; The Genetics of the Human Globin Gene Loci: Formal Genetics and Gene Linkage; The Geographic Distribution of Globin Gene Variation; Labortory Identification, Screening, Education, and Counseling for Abnormal Hemoglobins and Thalassemias; and Approaches to the Treatment of the Hemoglobin Disorders.

  19. Human Performance Research Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Biochemistry:Improvements in energy metabolism, muscular strength and endurance capacity have a basis in biochemical and molecular adaptations within the human body....

  20. Human cloning 2001.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, David L; Weston, Gareth; Pera, Martin F; Rombauts, Luk; Trounson, Alan O

    2002-05-01

    This review summaries human cloning from a clinical perspective. Natural human clones, that is, monozygotic twins, are increasing in the general community. Iatrogenic human clones have been produced for decades in infertile couples given fertility treatment such as ovulation induction. A clear distinction must be made between therapeutic cloning using embryonic stem cells and reproductive cloning attempts. Unlike the early clinical years of in vitro fertilization, with cloning there is no animal model that is safe and dependable. Until there is such a model, 'Dolly'-style human cloning is medically unacceptable.

  1. Robotics for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Terrence; Deans, Mathew; Bualat, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Robots can do a variety of work to increase the productivity of human explorers. Robots can perform tasks that are tedious, highly repetitive or long-duration. Robots can perform precursor tasks, such as reconnaissance, which help prepare for future human activity. Robots can work in support of astronauts, assisting or performing tasks in parallel. Robots can also perform "follow-up" work, completing tasks designated or started by humans. In this paper, we summarize the development and testing of robots designed to improve future human exploration of space.

  2. [Human physiology: kidney].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natochin, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    The content of human physiology as an independent part of current physiology is discussed. Substantiated is the point that subjects of human physiology are not only special sections of physiology where functions are inherent only in human (physiology of intellectual activity, speech, labor, sport), but also in peculiarities of functions, specificity of regulation of each of physiological systems. By the example of physiology of kidney and water-salt balance there are shown borders of norm, peculiarities of regulation in human, new chapters of renal physiology which have appeared in connection with achievements of molecular physiology.

  3. Challenges for Virtual Humans in Human Computing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidsma, Dennis; Ruttkay, Z.M.; Huang, T; Nijholt, Antinus; Pantic, Maja; Pentland, A.

    The vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) presumes a plethora of embedded services and devices that all endeavor to support humans in their daily activities as unobtrusively as possible. Hardware gets distributed throughout the environment, occupying even the fabric of our clothing. The environment

  4. SERUM BETA HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPHIN IN HUMAN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objectives To determine whether raised levels of serum Beta -HCG) are associated with higher grade and Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin ( -HCG in higher category tumors and whether in patients with raised levels of -HCG their sera the rise (above normal range) and the fall (to normal) in levels would correspond with ...

  5. Developing Human Resources through Actualizing Human Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarken, Rodney H.

    2012-01-01

    The key to human resource development is in actualizing individual and collective thinking, feeling and choosing potentials related to our minds, hearts and wills respectively. These capacities and faculties must be balanced and regulated according to the standards of truth, love and justice for individual, community and institutional development,…

  6. Skin and the non-human human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösing, Lilian Munk

    2013-01-01

    ) article 'Visualizing the mind: Looking at Titian's Flaying of Marsyas', addressing features of the painting not commented on by Hart, and supplementing Hart's (Kleinian) theoretical frame by involving Didier Anzieu's 'skin ego', Slavoj Zizek's concept of the 'non-human', Giorgio Agamben's term...

  7. Inflammatory mediator profiles in tears accompanying keratoconjunctival responses induced by nasal allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelikan, Zdenek

    2013-07-01

    The allergic reaction taking place in the nasal mucosa can induce a secondary ocular (keratoconjunctival) response of an immediate (SIOR), late (SLOR) or delayed (SDYOR) type in some patients with keratoconjunctivitis (KC). To investigate the concentration changes of histamine, tryptase, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophilic peroxidase (EPO), leucotrienes (LTB₄, LTC₄, LTE₄), prostaglandins (PGD₂, PGE₂ and PGF₂α), thromboxane B₂ (TXB₂), myeloperoxidase (MPO), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukins (IL-2, IL-4 and IL-5) in tears during the SIOR, SLOR and SDYOR. 19 SIORs (ptears. The ocular response types were associated with significant changes (ptears as follows: (1) SIORs: histamine, tryptase, ECP, LTC₄, PGD₂, PGF₂α, IL-4 and IL-5; (2) SLORs: histamine, ECP, EDN, LTB₄, LTC₄, PGE₂, MPO, IL-4 and IL-5; (3) SDYORs: LTB4, TXB₂, MPO, IFN-γ and IL-2. No significant changes of these factors were measured in tears during the 57 PBS controls (p>0.1). These results demonstrate a causal involvement of nasal allergy in some KC patients, inducing a secondary keratoconjunctival response of an immediate (SIOR), late (SLOR) or delayed (SDYOR) type, associated with different inflammatory mediator profiles in the tears, suggesting participation of different hypersensitivity mechanisms. These results also emphasise the diagnostic value of nasal challenge with allergen combined with monitoring of ocular response in KC patients, responding insufficiently to the usual ophthalmologic therapy.

  8. Mediator profiles in tears during the conjunctival response induced by allergic reaction in the nasal mucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelikan, Zdenek

    2013-01-01

    The allergic reaction occurring primarily in the nasal mucosa can induce a secondary conjunctival response of an immediate (SICR), late (SLCR), or delayed (SDYCR) type in some patients with allergic conjunctivitis (AC). To investigate the concentration changes of histamine, tryptase, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), leukotrienes (LTB 4, LTC4, LTE4), myeloperoxidase (MPO), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and interleukins (IL-2, IL-4, IL-5) in tears during the SICR, SLCR, and SDYCR. In 32 patients with AC, 11 SICR (p0.1) or in the ten control patients (p>0.1). These results provide evidence for causal involvement of nasal allergy in some patients with AC, inducing secondary conjunctival response of immediate (SICR), late SLCR, or delayed SDYCR type, associated with different mediator, cytokine, and cellular profiles in the tears, suggesting involvement of different hypersensitivity mechanisms. These results also emphasize the diagnostic value of nasal allergen challenge combined with monitoring of the conjunctival response in some patients with AC.

  9. Human Resource Accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodruff, Robert L., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    An interview is reported which discussed the implications for the hiring, recruiting, screening and development of employees in the light of human resource accounting, here defined as the identification, accumulation and dissemination of information about human resources in dollar terms. (SA)

  10. Human-centred Governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bason, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Design approaches are now being applied all over the world as a powerful approach to innovating public policies and services. Christian Bason, author of Leading public design: Discovering human-centred governance, argues that by bringing design methods into play, public managers can lead change...... with citizens at the centre, and discover a new model for steering public organisations: human-centred governance....

  11. Human Mind Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Tom

    2016-01-01

    When students generate mind maps, or concept maps, the maps are usually on paper, computer screens, or a blackboard. Human Mind Maps require few resources and little preparation. The main requirements are space where students can move around and a little creativity and imagination. Mind maps can be used for a variety of purposes, and Human Mind…

  12. Dynamics of human movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Hubertus F.J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The part of (bio)mechanics that studies the interaction of forces on the human skeletal system and its effect on the resulting movement is called rigid body dynamics. Some basic concepts are presented: A mathematical formulation to describe human movement and how this relates on the mechanical loads

  13. Biodemography of human ageing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vaupel, James W

    2010-01-01

    Human senescence has been delayed by a decade. This finding, documented in 1994 and bolstered since, is a fundamental discovery about the biology of human ageing, and one with profound implications for individuals, society and the economy. Remarkably, the rate of deterioration with age seems...

  14. the human genome project

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Enrique

    have resulted in the biological diversity, both past and present, on this planet. RAJ RAMESAR. MSc, PhD. Professor and Head. Division of Human Genetics. Faculty of Health Sciences. University of Cape Town. Raj Ramesar serves as Director of the MRC. Human Genetics Research Unit and. CANSA's Colorectal Cancer ...

  15. Translating the human microbiome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, J.; Vos, de W.M.; Distefano, P.S.; Doré, J.; Huttenhower, C.; Knight, R.; Lawley, T.D.; Raes, J.; Turnbaugh, P.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past decade, an explosion of descriptive analyses from initiatives, such as the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and the MetaHIT project, have begun to delineate the human microbiome. Inhabitants of the intestinal tract, nasal passages, oral cavities, skin, gastrointestinal tract and

  16. Damping Effect of Humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Lars

    Passive humans (sitting or standing) might well be present on flooring-systems, footbridges or other structures that carry humans. An active croud of people might generate structural vibrations, and these might be problematic. The passive crowd of people, however, will interact with the structura...

  17. Evaluating the Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Howard

    2013-01-01

    How can one measure the value of teaching the humanities? The problem of assessment and accountability is prominent today, of course, in secondary and higher education. It is perhaps even more acute for those who teach the humanities in nontraditional settings, such as medical and other professional schools. The public assumes that academes can…

  18. The Humanities' Value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpham, Geoffrey Galt

    2009-01-01

    Why should society support the humanities when so many people are suffering from the effects of the economic crisis? What claim do the humanities, or scholarship generally, have on increasingly limited resources? Shouldn't such pursuits be considered luxuries at a time when people should be focusing on essentials? The alleviation of human…

  19. Manage "Human Capital" Strategically

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odden, Allan

    2011-01-01

    To strategically manage human capital in education means restructuring the entire human resource system so that schools not only recruit and retain smart and capable individuals, but also manage them in ways that support the strategic directions of the organization. These management practices must be aligned with a district's education improvement…

  20. Incorporating Human Interindividual Biotransformation ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The protection of sensitive individuals within a population dictates that measures other than central tendencies be employed to estimate risk. The refinement of human health risk assessments for chemicals metabolized by the liver to reflect data on human variability can be accomplished through (1) the characterization of enzyme expression in large banks of human liver samples, (2) the employment of appropriate techniques for the quantification and extrapolation of metabolic rates derived in vitro, and (3) the judicious application of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. While in vitro measurements of specific biochemical reactions from multiple human samples can yield qualitatively valuable data on human variance, such measures must be put into the perspective of the intact human to yield the most valuable predictions of metabolic differences among humans. For quantitative metabolism data to be the most valuable in risk assessment, they must be tied to human anatomy and physiology, and the impact of their variance evaluated under real exposure scenarios. For chemicals metabolized in the liver, the concentration of parent chemical in the liver represents the substrate concentration in the MichaelisMenten description of metabolism. Metabolic constants derived in vitro may be extrapolated to the intact liver, when appropriate conditions are met. Metabolic capacity Vmax; the maximal rate of the reaction) can be scaled directly to the concentration