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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of pH on the interaction of botulinum neurotoxins A, B and E with liposomes.

The interaction of botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A, B and E with membranes of different lipid compositions was examined by photolabelling with two photoreactive phosphatidylcholine analogues that monitor the polar region and the hydrophobic core of the lipid bilayer. At neutral pH the neurotoxins interacted both with the polar head groups and with fatty acid chains of phospholipids. At acidic pHs the neurotoxins underwent structural changes characterized by a more extensive interaction with lipids. Both the heavy and light chain subunits of the neurotoxins were involved in the process. The change in the nature and extent of toxin-lipid interaction occurred in the pH range 4-6 and was not influenced by the presence of polysialogangliosides. The present data are in agreement with the idea that botulinum neurotoxins enter into nerve cells from a low pH intracellular compartment.[1]


  1. Effect of pH on the interaction of botulinum neurotoxins A, B and E with liposomes. Montecucco, C., Schiavo, G., Dasgupta, B.R. Biochem. J. (1989) [Pubmed]
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