Bacterial Protein Toxins: Current and Potential Clinical Use
Pp. 274-312 (39)
Alessia Fabbri, Francesca Rosadi, Giulia Ballan, Antonella Del Brocco, Sara Travaglione, Stefano Loizzo and Carla Fiorentini
Natural toxins are the product of a long-term evolution, and act on essential
mechanisms in the most crucial and vital processes of living organisms. They can attack
components of the protein synthesis machinery, actin polymerization, signal
transduction pathways, intracellular trafficking of vesicles as well as immune and
inflammatory responses. For this reason, toxins have increasingly been used as valuable
tools for analysis of cellular physiology, and in the recent years, some of them are used
medicinally for the treatment of human diseases.
This review is devoted to protein toxins of bacterial origin, specifically those toxins that
are currently used in therapy or those under study for their potential clinical
applications. Bacterial protein toxins are all characterized by a specific mechanism of
action that involves the central molecular pathways in the eukaryotic cell. Knowledge of
their properties could be used for medical purposes.
Adenylate cyclase, anthrax toxin, bacterial protein toxins, botulinum
toxin, cancer, cholera toxin, clinical application, cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1
(CNF1), drug delivery agent, fusion protein, heat-labile enterotoxin, human
disease, immunotoxins, molecular mechanism, neurological disorders, pertussis
toxin, tetanus toxin, therapeutic agents, vaccine adjuvant, viral infection, zonula
occludens toxin (ZOT).
Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299. 00161 Roma Italy.