Author(s): Singh BR, Singh BR
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Abstract Botulinum neurotoxins are multifaceted molecules, which are truly unique not only in their mode of action, but also their utility as a drug carrier either across the gut wall or to the nerve terminals. The molecule is divided in clear functional domains that can operate independently. This feature can be used to employ them as cargo carrier by linking other drugs or vaccines with the binding and translocation domains of BoNT. While the domain structures are largely independent of each other, the dynamic structure of these domains, especially that of the enzymatic domain (L chain), is quite different from the reported crystal structures for several BoNT serotypes and their enzymatic domain. This review discusses the comparative structures of BoNT in crystal and solution for their relevance to the molecular mechanism of BoNT action, especially in view of our recent discovery that the enzymatically active structure of the BoNT exists as a molten-globule and that of the endopeptidase domain as a novel PRIME conformation. Finally, a non-exhaustive discussion has been included to explain the long-lasting biological effects of certain serotypes of BoNT, based on the current knowledge of the structure-function of different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins.
This article was published in Neurotox Res
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research