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

Internalization of alpha-bungarotoxin on neurons induced by a neurotoxin that blocks neuronal acetylcholine sensitivity.

A protein neurotoxin (Bgt 3.1) present as a minor component in the venom of Bungarus multicinctus has been shown previously to block acetylcholine (ACh) sensitivity on chick ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons in cell culture. Alpha-bungarotoxin (Bgt. 2.2) binds to the neurons but does not block ACh sensitivity; the function of the Bgt. 2.2 binding site is unknown. The present studies demonstrate that Bgt 3.1 can induce the rapid internalization of Bgt 2.2 bound on the surface of CG and sympathetic neurons. The rapid internalization of bound Bgt 2.2 caused by Bgt. 3.1 can be seen with fluoresence microscopy using rhodamine-labeled Bgt 2.2 as the probe and by immunological techniques using anti-Bgt 2.2 antiserum to locate the bound 125I-Bgt 2. 2. The rapid internalization is blocked by low temperature or by high concentrations of Bgt 2.2 and is not induced by Bgt 2.2 itself or by small cholinergic ligands. Bound 125I-Bgt 2.2 is released into the medium as degraded material after internalization is induced. Bgt 3.1 does not induce internalization of Bgt 2.2 bound to skeletal myotubes in culture nor does it induce the internalizaton of rhodamine-labeled nerve growth factor bound to sympathetic neurons, suggesting that its effect on neuronally bound Bgt 2.2 might be a specific one. Competition binding studies suggest that Bgt 3.1 may trigger the internalization of bound Bgt 2.2 by direct interaction with a Bgt 2.2 binding site. The effect of Bgt 3.1 on neuronal ACh sensitivity, however, does not depend on internalization of Bgt 2.2 binding sites since full inhibition of ACh sensitivity is still achieved by Bgt 3.1 under conditions where internalization is blocked. Neurons may have more than one class of Bgt 2.2 on the neurons. The internalization of Bgt 2.2 binding sites induced by Bgt 3.1 provides an unusual opportunity to study cellular mechanisms by which neurons can regulate the number and distribution of their surface components.[1]


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