Editors' ChoicePharmacology

Botox Receptor

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Science's STKE  02 May 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 333, pp. tw150
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3332006tw150

Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) is one of seven neurotoxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. BoNT/A has a long half-life within cells and is widely used in the treatment of conditions ranging from wrinkles to chronic pain. Moreover, BoNT/A can cause paralysis that persists for months. BoNT/A is known to block neurotransmission by cleaving the protein SNAP-25 in presynaptic terminals, but it is not clear how this toxin selectively recognizes and enters neurons. Dong et al. now identify a protein component of the cellular receptor for BoNT/A as a synaptic vesicle protein, SV2. BoNT/A enters neurons via recycling synaptic vesicles by binding to SV2 isoforms, and cells and animals lacking SV2 are resistant to intoxication.

M. Dong, F. Yeh, W. H. Tepp, C. Dean, E. A. Johnson, R. Janz, E. R. Chapman, SV2 is the protein receptor for botulinum neurotoxin A. Science 312, 592-596 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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