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Bacterial Protein Toxins: Current and Potential Clinical Use

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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 being 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.

Keywords: Bacterial protein toxins; drug delivery agent; immunotoxins; therapeutic agents; vaccine adjuvant

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Drug Research and Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Viale Regina Elena, 299. 00161 Roma, Italy.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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