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The travel diaries of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins

Surana, S; Tosolini, AP; Meyer, IFG; Fellows, AD; Novoselov, SS; Schiavo, G; (2017) The travel diaries of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins. Toxicon , 147 pp. 58-67. 10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.10.008. (In press).

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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.

Type: Article
Title: The travel diaries of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins
DOI: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.10.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.10.008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Axonal retrograde transport, botulinum neurotoxin, tetanus toxin, clostridial neurotoxin, endocytosis, neuromuscular junction.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024648
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