Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study IDs first molecules that protect cells against deadly ricin poison

Date:
April 19, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
The results of a high-throughput screen of thousands of chemicals in search of agents that could protect cells, and ultimately people, against the deadly ricin poison has turned up two contenders.

The results of a high-throughput screen of thousands of chemicals in search of agents that could protect cells, and ultimately people, against the deadly ricin poison has turned up two contenders. Even better, the compounds also render cells immune to the effects of Shiga-like toxins that are produced by infectious strains of E. coli bacteria among other pathogens, suggesting they may be useful against other threats to public health and in fact any toxin that takes the same route to enter cells.

Related Articles


The findings are reported in the April 16th issue of the journal Cell.

The discovery was made as part of a larger effort in France to address potential bioterror weapons following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, said Daniel Gillet of Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives.

"There is a real need for countermeasures against ricin," one of the most toxic chemicals known to man, Gillet said. One of the reasons for concern is that ricin is not only deadly, but it can also be easy to come by. It is a natural ingredient in the seeds of castor oil plants, which are used in the industrial production of brake fluid, varnish, soap, ink and other products. "There are many plants growing and there is about one milligram of toxin per seed. Ricin is a byproduct of this industry."

Ricin first gained notoriety when it was used to assassinate the Bulgarian journalist Georgi Markov in 1978, notes Matthew Seaman and Andrew Peden in an accompanying commentary about the new findings. There are currently no known antidotes to ricin or Shiga toxins, and the possibility that ricin might be used in a bioterror attack is a major concern.

Gillet said that other groups had looked for compounds to protect against ricin before without success. Some promising candidates didn't work consistently and others proved to be toxic in and of themselves.

In the new study, the researchers found two compounds that allowed cells to survive the assaults of ricin and Shiga-like toxins. The compounds work not by acting on the toxins themselves, but through their effects on the route the toxins follow as they travel through cells, they report. (Both ricin and Shiga-like toxins normally travel through cells by the so-called retrograde pathway. Ricin delivers its fatal blow after it escapes into the cytosol where it disrupts the ribosomal "factories" that produce all the proteins needed to do the work of the cell.)

The compounds, which they call Retro-1 and Retro-2, block the toxins' escape via a series of cellular components out into the cytosol after they've gained initial entry into cells, explained study coauthor Ludger Johannes of Institut Curie and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew N.J. Seaman and Andrew A. Peden. Ricin Toxin Hits a Retrograde Roadblock. Cell, Volume 141, Issue 2, 222-224, 16 April 2010 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.044

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Study IDs first molecules that protect cells against deadly ricin poison." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415125938.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, April 19). Study IDs first molecules that protect cells against deadly ricin poison. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415125938.htm
Cell Press. "Study IDs first molecules that protect cells against deadly ricin poison." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415125938.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins