The structure of botulinum toxin B bound to one of its receptor is revealed in two papers online and in the 14 December 2006 issue of Nature (Vol. 444, No. 7121). It's hoped the discovery will aid the development of vaccines and drugs to combat this deadly toxin.
Botulinum toxins produced by Clostridia botulinum bacteria target the junctions between neurons and muscles causing paralysis. Two teams, one led by Raymond C. Stevens and the other by Axel T. Brunger, published the structure, which reveals how the neurotoxin binds to targets on the exposed surface of the neuron and thus providing insight into the high affinity and specificity of this interaction.
Raymond C. Stevens (The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA)
Axel T. Brunger (Stanford University, CA, USA)
Giampietro Schiavo (Cancer Research UK, London, UK)
Abstracts available online:
(C) Nature press release.
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