Neurotoxins of Biological Origin
A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2010) | Viewed by 106296
Interests: snake venoms; sea snake neurotoxins; Raman spectroscopy; structure-function relations of toxins; chemical weapons defense; NBCR anti-terrorism
Interests: marine toxins and venoms; lectin; motogenic activity; cytotoxic activity; diferentiation
The word “neurotoxins” attracts the interest if scientists and laymen alike. Neutoroxins can be of many different types with diverse origins, including both synthetic and naturally derived toxins. DDT, organophosphate insecticides, and nerve gases such as sarin, tabun, and VX are all neurotoxic, but the mechanisms of action can be different. Likewise, biological neurotoxins are also very complex and each toxin differs in binding site, source, and mechanism of toxic action. They may act on the axon, presynaptic site, or the postsynaptic site of the acetylcholine receptor. Some toxins even affect the axon’s sodium channel with different binding sites. Tetradotoxin (Fugu toxin) blocks the entrance of the sodium gate, while scorpion toxin binds to the interior portion of the sodium channel. Tetanus toxin enters the peripheral nervous system from the neuromuscular junction, travels through the inside of the axon, and stops at the place where the peripheral and central nerves connect. Because each toxin differs in action and binding site, this specificity can be used to study individual sites of the nervous system. For this reason, neurotoxins are considered good tools for the understanding of this complex system. In this special review, I asked experts of biological neurotoxins to contribute chapters to increase the understanding of different aspects of neurotoxins.
Prof. Dr. Anthony T. Tu
Prof. Dr. Hideyuki Nakagawa
- natural poisons
- neurotoxins of natural origin
- neurotoxins of biological origin
- botulinum toxin
- phospholipase A2 snake neurotoxin
- spider neurotoxin