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Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

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Author(s): Assaf Shapira | Itai Benhar

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 2519;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: toxins | targeting | pseudomonas exotoxin A | diphtheria toxin | ricin | anthrax | immunotoxins | suicide gene

ABSTRACT
Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin.