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Nerve terminals are specific sites of action of a very large number of toxins produced by many different organisms. The mechanism of action of three groups of presynaptic neurotoxins that interfere directly with the process of neurotransmitter release is reviewed, whereas presynaptic neurotoxins acting on ion channels are not dealt with here. These(More)
Clostridial neurotoxins, including tetanus toxin and the seven serotypes of botulinum toxin (A-G), are produced as single chains and cleaved to generate toxins with two chains joined by a single disulphide bond (Fig. 1). The heavy chain (M(r) 100,000 (100K)) is responsible for specific binding to neuronal cells and cell penetration of the light chain (50K),(More)
Clostridial neurotoxins are zinc endopeptidases that block neurotransmission and have been shown to cleave, in vitro, specific proteins involved in synaptic vesicle docking and/or fusion. We have used immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting to demonstrate alterations in toxin substrates in intact neurons under conditions of toxin-induced blockade of(More)
The membrane potential of mouse spleen lymphocytes has been assessed with two fluorescent probes. 3,3'-Dipropylthiadicarbocyanine (diS-C3-(5)) was used for most of the experiments. Solutions with high K+ concentrations depolarised the cells. Valinomycin, an inophore which adds a highly K+-selective permeability membranes, slightly hyperpolarised cells in(More)
VAMP proteins are important components of the machinery controlling docking and/or fusion of secretory vesicles with their target membrane. We investigated the expression of VAMP proteins in pancreatic beta-cells and their implication in the exocytosis of insulin. cDNA cloning revealed that VAMP-2 and cellubrevin, but not VAMP-1, are expressed in rat(More)
The available amino acid sequences of 150-kDa botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins show the presence of a closely homologous segment in the middle of the light chain (NH2-terminal 50 kDa), which is the intracellularly active portion of the toxin. This segment contains the zinc binding motif of metalloendopeptidases, HEXXH. Atomic adsorption analysis of(More)
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), proteases specific for the SNARE proteins, are used to study the molecular machinery supporting exocytosis and are used to treat human diseases characterized by cholinergic hyperactivity. The recent extension of the use of BoNTs to central nervous system (CNS) pathologies prompted the study of their traffic in central neurons.(More)
SNAP-25 is known as a neuron specific molecule involved in the fusion of small synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane. By immunolocalization and Western blot analysis, it is now shown that SNAP-25 is also expressed in pancreatic endocrine cells. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) A and E were used to study the role of SNAP-25 in insulin secretion.(More)
The lethal toxin of Bacillus anthracis consists of two proteins, PA and LF, which together induce lethal effects in animals and cause macrophage lysis. LF is a zinc-endopeptidase which cleaves two mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKKs), Mek1 and Mek2, within the cytosol. Here, we show that also MKK3, another dual-specificity kinase that(More)