Botulinum toxins are currently used on more than 80 medical conditions including Muscle spasms, Overactive bladder, Chronic migraine, Cervical dystonia, Sweating and Cerebral Palsy (CP). The new toxin, Botulinum neurotoxin type X (BoNT/X), has the potential to open up a new field of toxin therapeutics related to intracellular membrane trafficking and secretion.
Since Botulinum neurotoxins are the most toxic substances known, the development of detection methods and treatments is very important.
"The discovery of BoNT/X facilitates the development of diagnostics and countermeasures which is important if someone would be exposed to a toxic amount of the substance", says Pal Stenmark, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University.
The research team will now develop antibodies with the ability to detect and inactivate the toxin.
"Within a few months we will have developed ways of detecting if a person has been subject to BoNT/X", says Pal Stenmark.
The researchers will determine the structure of the toxin and investigate how it binds to the nerve cell. They will also investigate how the unique properties of BoNT/X can be best used to develop new therapeutics.
Discovered through an infant in Japan
It all started with an infant in Japan that became ill in 1995. In 2015 the genome of the bacteria isolated from the child was sequenced and deposited in a database. Hidden in the four million letter blueprint of the bacterium, the research team identified the novel toxin.
"When we first discovered this toxin I believed we had made some error in the analysis, but after checking several times it turned out to be correct. This discovery opens a multitude of new exciting research topics that we are eager to explore in collaboration with Dr. Min Dong's research team at Harvard", says Pal Stenmark.
Link to the article "Identification and characterization of a novel botulinum neurotoxin" in Nature Communications: http://www.
For further information, please contact Pal Stenmark, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, cellphone: +46 739-84 12 16.
Annika Hallman | EurekAlert!
The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally
21.02.2018 | Technische Universität München
First line of defence against influenza further decoded
21.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
21.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy