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Toxins, Volume 4, Issue 3 (March 2012), Pages 157-227

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Review

Open AccessReview The Interactions of Human Neutrophils with Shiga Toxins and Related Plant Toxins: Danger or Safety?
Toxins 2012, 4(3), 157-190; doi:10.3390/toxins4030157
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 11 February 2012 / Accepted: 19 February 2012 / Published: 1 March 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shiga toxins and ricin are well characterized similar toxins belonging to quite different biological kingdoms. Plant and bacteria have evolved the ability to produce these powerful toxins in parallel, while humans have evolved a defense system that recognizes molecular patterns common to foreign
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Shiga toxins and ricin are well characterized similar toxins belonging to quite different biological kingdoms. Plant and bacteria have evolved the ability to produce these powerful toxins in parallel, while humans have evolved a defense system that recognizes molecular patterns common to foreign molecules through specific receptors expressed on the surface of the main actors of innate immunity, namely monocytes and neutrophils. The interactions between these toxins and neutrophils have been widely described and have stimulated intense debate. This paper is aimed at reviewing the topic, focusing particularly on implications for the pathogenesis and diagnosis of hemolytic uremic syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
Open AccessReview Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides
Toxins 2012, 4(3), 191-227; doi:10.3390/toxins4030191
Received: 31 January 2012 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 15 March 2012 / Published: 22 March 2012
Cited by 54 | PDF Full-text (893 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through
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Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics) and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticidal Toxins)

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