Bacteria and plants produce powerful toxins that can cause a variety of diseases, some of which are lethal for many animal species. The mechanisms of action are common to many of these toxins and represent general pathways for the interaction of a number of biomolecules with target cells, such as binding to specific surface receptors, internalization and translocation across the cell membrane, and interaction with intracellular components. Because of their potency in killing eukaryotic cells, they have been used in the development of novel agents for targeted immunotherapy, and have been termed 'chimeric toxins'.
The elucidation of the mechanism of action of protein toxins remains a complex problem, but understanding these mechanisms will open new avenues for the design of novel therapies for the treatment of toxin-related diseases. In Chimeric Toxins: Mechanisms of Action and Therapeutic Applications, the authors review the structure, function and mechanisms of toxic action and investigate their therapeutic applications in medicine, including approaches used to design, express and purify these molecules as well as discussing their characteristics and in vivo efficacy.
Bacterial and Plant Toxins - General Mode of Action. Diphtheria Toxin-Structure, Function and its Therapeutic Use. Ricin A-Structure, Function and its Clinical Applications. Pathways of Delivering Toxins into the Cytosol of Target Cells. Engineering Immunotoxins for Improving their Therapeutic Activity. Ligand-receptor Interactions Studied with Chimeric Proteins. Chimeric Proteins: a Novel Approach for Eliminating Specific Cell Populations for Targeted Human Therapy. Chimeric Neurotoxins - a Molecular Neurosurgery Approach. Targeted Immunotherapy of Autoimmune Diseases by Chimeric Toxins. Immunotoxins for Targeted Cancer Therapy. Molecular Targeting of Brain Tumors with Cytotoxins. Toxins in the Development of Vaccines.