Clostridial toxins as therapeutic agents: Benefits of nature's most toxic proteins

Authors
Citation
Ea. Johnson, Clostridial toxins as therapeutic agents: Benefits of nature's most toxic proteins, ANN R MICRO, 53, 1999, pp. 551
Citations number
131
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
ANNUAL REVIEW OF MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0066-4227 → ACNP
Volume
53
Year of publication
1999
Database
ISI
SICI code
0066-4227(1999)53:<551:CTATAB>2.0.ZU;2-J
Abstract
Toxins are increasingly being used as valuable tools for analysis of cellul ar physiology, and some are used medicinally for treatment of human disease s. In particular, botulinum toxin, the most poisonous biological substance known, is used for treatment of a myriad of human neuromuscular disorders c haracterized by involuntary muscle contractions. Since approval of type-A b otulinum toxin by the US Food and Drug Administration in December 1989 for three disorders (strabismus, blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm), the numb er of indications being treated has increased greatly to include numerous f ocal dystonias, spasticity, tremors, cosmetic applications, migraine and te nsion headaches, and other maladies. Many of these diseases were previously refractory to pharmacological and surgical treatments. The remarkable ther apeutic utility of botulinum toxin lies in its ability to specifically and potently inhibit involuntary muscle activity for an extended duration. The clostridia produce more protein toxins than any other bacterial genus and a re a rich reservoir of toxins for research and medicinal uses. Research is underway to use clostridial toxins or toxin domains for drug delivery, prev ention of food poisoning, and the treatment of cancer and other diseases, T he remarkable success of botulinum toxin as a therapeutic agent has created a new field of investigation in microbiology.