Fungal ribotoxins: structure, function and evolution



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Herrero Galán, Elías and Álvarez García, Elisa and Carreras Sangrà, Nelson and Lacadena, Javier and Alegre Cebollada, Jorge and Martínez del Pozo, Álvaro and Oñaderra, Mercedes and Gavilanes, José G. (2009) Fungal ribotoxins: structure, function and evolution. In Microbial Toxins: Current Research and Future Trends. Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, UK, pp. 167-187. ISBN 978-1-904455-44-8

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Ribotoxins are a family of fungal extracellular ribonucleases which inactivate ribosomes
by specifically cleaving a single phosphodiester bond located at the universally
conserved sarcin/ricin loop of the large rRNA. The subsequent inhibition of protein
biosynthesis is followed by cell death via apoptosis. Ribotoxins are also able to interact
with membranes containing acid phospholipids, their cytotoxicity being preferentially
directed towards cells showing altered membrane permeability, e.g. transformed or
virus infected cells. Many features of their cytotoxic action and their ribonucleolytic
mechanism have been elucidated by comparison with other extracellular non toxic
fungal RNases, best represented by RNase T1. The study of structure-function
relationships in ribotoxins is of particular interest, since they are postulated as potential
therapeutic agents against different human pathologies. The production of
hypoallergenic variants with application in several Aspergillus-related allergic
syndromes and the construction of immunotoxins against different carcinomas are
promising examples of such potential therapeutic utilisation.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fungal ribotoxins
Subjects:Sciences > Chemistry > Biochemistry
ID Code:9128
Deposited On:08 Jun 2009 14:24
Last Modified:06 Feb 2014 08:20

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