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Novel Botulinum Neurotoxins: Exploring Underneath the Iceberg Tip.
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Novel Botulinum Neurotoxins: Exploring Underneath the Iceberg Tip.

Toxins (Basel). 2018 May 10;10(5):

Authors: Tehran DA, Pirazzini M

Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the etiological agents of botulism, are the deadliest toxins known to humans. Yet, thanks to their biological and toxicological features, BoNTs have become sophisticated tools to study neuronal physiology and valuable therapeutics for an increasing number of human disorders. BoNTs are produced by multiple bacteria of the genus Clostridium and, on the basis of their different immunological properties, were classified as seven distinct types of toxin. BoNT classification remained stagnant for the last 50 years until, via bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing techniques, dozens of BoNT variants, novel serotypes as well as BoNT-like toxins within non-clostridial species have been discovered. Here, we discuss how the now “booming field” of botulinum neurotoxin may shed light on their evolutionary origin and open exciting avenues for future therapeutic applications.

PMID: 29748471 [PubMed - in process]

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