Denatured Ricin Can Be Detected as Native Ricin by Immunological Methods, but Nontoxic In Vivo
Authors: Kumar, Om; Pradhan, Santwana; Sehgal, Payal; Singh, Yamini; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan
Source: Journal of Forensic Sciences, Volume 55, Number 3, May 2010 , pp. 801-807(7)
Abstract:: Ricin is a glycoprotein from Ricinus communis seeds. It is known to have diverse toxic effects on cells of different visceral organs. In the present study, we purified and denatured ricin in a boiling water bath for different time intervals. We further made an attempt to identify native and denatured ricin by immunobased detection systems. All the antigen/antibody-based assays identified native and denatured ricin. On SDS-PAGE, only native ricin was observed. In western blotting, ricin boiled for 3.75 min gave a strong band on X-ray film. On native polyacryl amide gel electrophoresis, native and denatured ricin gave ricin band in 60-kDa region. The denatured ricin did cause mortality up to 25 mg/kg, while 5 and 10 μg/kg of native ricin caused 50% and 100% mortality, respectively. Detection of native and denatured ricin is very difficult, and the investigating agencies, forensic scientists, and analysts should be very careful while interpreting the results.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2010-05-01