Topical Collection "Leading Opinions (Closed)"
A topical collection in Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).Viewed by 69617
Interests: venom molecular evolution; protein structure prediction; protein-ligand interactions; molecular dynamics simulations; pharmacophore modeling; computational ligand docking
Interests: bacterial toxins; GTPases; signal transduction; toxins and carcinogenesis
Interests: mycotoxins; fungal metabolites; antimicrobial; anticancer; antinflammatory; antioxidant
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Toxins are the poisonous products of organisms, such as plants, animals, or a wide variety of microorganisms. They are small molecules, peptides, or proteins, respectively. Despite their chemical variety, all toxins are biological weapons that allow the producing organism to hunt for prey or to defend itself.
In this Topical Collection of Toxins we are presenting “Leading Opinions” in:
1. Animal venoms
Venomous animals produce their venom secretion in specialized cells. The venom is delivered to a target animal through evocation of a wound. Once inside the target animal the venom disrupts endophysiological or biochemical processes in order to facilitate feeding, defense, or competition.
2. Bacterial toxins
Pathogenic bacteria produce a cocktail of protein toxins, which support their survival in the host organism. The toxins trigger the behavior of eukaryotic cells by diverse, but mostly highly-specific, mechanisms. Reprogramming of host cells includes inhibition of the immune cells, as well as a weakening of the barrier function of epithelia.
The growing knowledge about cellular receptors, uptake mechanisms, and molecular action of bacterial toxins open new fields for inhibition of the bacterial weapons and, on the other hand, allows the targeted use of these highly efficient enzymes for cell biological and therapeutic applications.
Mycotoxins are small molecules corresponding to secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic molds that infect plants and crops. It is now clear that these toxins play a critical role during host colonization. Unfortunately, in addition to cause massive damages in crops, mycotoxins, due to their high stability and prevalence in the food chain, cause also collateral victims: animals and humans ingesting contaminated foods. To limit the economical and health impacts of mycotoxins, we need to better understand the role played by mycotoxins during plant infection, to perform comparative studies of the effects of mycotoxins in plants and animals and to identify mechanisms able to confer resistance to mycotoxin effects.
Advancement in the understanding of how toxins are administered and act, as well as how they can be targeted, is happening at fast pace and in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Leading scientists will be invited to present current developments and ideas to the “Leading Opinions” Topical Collection of Toxins.
Prof. Dr. Holger Scheib
Prof. Dr. Gudula Schmidt
Dr. Marc Maresca
Manuscript Submission Information
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