Detection of Botuli num Toxins: Micromechanical and Fluorescence-based Sensors

Parpura, Vladimir; Chapman, Edwin R.
August 2005
Croatian Medical Journal;2005, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p491
Academic Journal
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal of known human toxins, exerting their actions by cleaving the soluble N-ethyl maleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) required for neurotransmitter release. Early detection of these toxins is important for appropriate medical treatment. To detect BoNT activity, traditional as says monitor the effects of the toxins on a mammalian organism (observing signs of botulism in mice), or identify cleaved substrate molecules (electrophoresis and immunoblot). Similarly, enzyme-linked as says were used for screening potential toxin inhibitors in vitro in attempt to select antitoxins that could be used for therapeutic purposes. Here we review two recently developed sensor systems for detection of toxin activity in vitro and in living cells. In vitro detection was carried out using a micromechanosensor that relies on the attachment of a bead to the micromachined cantilever through the interactions between SNARE proteins, with synaptobrevin 2 deposited onto beads and syntaxin 1A deposited onto cantilevers. The presence of toxin is indicated by the detachment of the bead, resulting from cleavage of synaptobrevin 2. Additional in vitro detection is possible using fluorescent sensors constructed by inserting linkers, containing fragments of SNARE proteins acting as toxin substrates, between cyan and yellow fluorescent proteins (CFP and YFP). Toxins cause the cleavage of these linkers and thereby abolish fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between CFP and YFP. This approach, combined with an additional sensor based on subcellular redistribution of YFP fluorescence in cells, was used for cell-based screening of toxin activity.


Related Articles

  • Face Facts.  // Prevention;Sep2011, Vol. 63 Issue 9, p53 

    The article discusses a study which found that people who have used Botox are less likely to interpret the expressions of other people.

  • Deadly botulism toxin kept under wraps.  // New Scientist;10/19/2013, Vol. 220 Issue 2939, p16 

    The article reports that Stephen Arnon and colleagues at the California Department of Public Health discovered the most lethal toxin around, a novel type of botulinum, which they shared only reacted weakly with a few of the standard antibodies on mice.

  • Botulinum Toxin Structure Offers Clues for Vaccines, Treatments.  // Ascribe Newswire: Medicine;5/18/2004, p63 

    By deciphering the near atomic-level structure of the catalytic domain of botulinum toxin type E, one of seven neurotoxins that cause botulism, a disease that paralyzes victims by blocking nerve cells' ability to communicate, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National...

  • Sheep Monoclonal Antibodies Prevent Systemic Effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin A1. Mukherjee, Jean; McCann, Chase; Ofori, Kwasi; Hill, Julia; Baldwin, Karen; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Harrison, Peter; Tzipori, Saul // Toxins;Dec2012, Vol. 4 Issue 12, p1565 

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is responsible for causing botulism, a potentially fatal disease characterized by paralysis of skeletal muscle. Existing specific treatments include polyclonal antisera derived from immunized humans or horses. Both preparations have similar drawbacks, including...

  • Botulinum toxin injection versus lateral internal sphincterotomy for chronic anal fissure: a meta-analysis of randomized control trials. Chen, H.-L.; Woo, X.-B.; Wang, H.-S.; Lin, Y.-J.; Luo, H.-X.; Chen, Y.-H.; Chen, C.-Q.; Peng, J.-S. // Techniques in Coloproctology;Aug2014, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p693 

    Background: Although surgery is the gold standard treatment for anal fissure, the main concern remains its side effects and complications. Botulinum toxin injection and lateral internal sphincterotomy are technical options for patients suffering from chronic anal fissure. However, little is...

  • Potent New Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Endopeptidase Developed by Synthesis-Based Computer-Aided Molecular Design.  // PLoS ONE;2009, Vol. 4 Issue 11, p1 

    The article presents a study focusing on a potent new small-molecule inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNTA) endopeptidase developed by synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design. It states that BoNTA causes a life-threatening neuroparalytic disease known as botulism. It also...

  • Botulinum toxin A.  // Reactions Weekly;9/11/2010, Issue 1318, p13 

    The article describes the case of a 31-year-old woman who developed botulism after receiving botulinum toxin A for hereditary spastic paraparesis.

  • Botulism, Vintage 1963. Rogers, David E. // Annals of Internal Medicine;Sep64, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p581 

    Editorial. Focuses on botulism in the United States. Etiology of the disease; Cases of botulism since the late 19th century; Research on botulinum toxin; Efforts to prevent botulism; Clinical studies of botulism outbreaks.

  • botulin.  // Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (2009);2009, Issue 21, p301 

    A definition of the term "botulin" which refers to the protein neurotoxin which causes the clinical disease botulism, is presented.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics