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Toxins 2017, 9(10), 314; doi:10.3390/toxins9100314

Plant Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins: Progesses, Challenges and Biotechnological Applications (and a Few Digressions)

MIUR, Italian Ministry of Instruction, University and Research, 20090 Monza, Italy
NanoSquare Research Institution, Research Center for the 21st Century, Organization for Research Promotion, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-2, Gakuen-cho, Naka-ku, Osaka 599-8570, Japan
Graduate School of Science, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-1, Gakuen-cho, Naka-ku, Osaka 599-8531, Japan
Urological Research Institute, Division of Experimental Oncology, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, 20132 Milan, Italy
University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, 23132 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Julien Barbier and Daniel Gillet
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ribosome Inactivating Toxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3265 KB, uploaded 18 October 2017]   |  


Plant ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) toxins are EC3.2.2.22 N-glycosidases, found among most plant species encoded as small gene families, distributed in several tissues being endowed with defensive functions against fungal or viral infections. The two main plant RIP classes include type I (monomeric) and type II (dimeric) as the prototype ricin holotoxin from Ricinus communis that is composed of a catalytic active A chain linked via a disulphide bridge to a B-lectin domain that mediates efficient endocytosis in eukaryotic cells. Plant RIPs can recognize a universally conserved stem-loop, known as the α-sarcin/ ricin loop or SRL structure in 23S/25S/28S rRNA. By depurinating a single adenine (A4324 in 28S rat rRNA), they can irreversibly arrest protein translation and trigger cell death in the intoxicated mammalian cell. Besides their useful application as potential weapons against infected/tumor cells, ricin was also used in bio-terroristic attacks and, as such, constitutes a major concern. In this review, we aim to summarize past studies and more recent progresses made studying plant RIPs and discuss successful approaches that might help overcoming some of the bottlenecks encountered during the development of their biomedical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant ribosome inactivating proteins; ER-stress; saporin; targeted drug delivery; nanovectors plant ribosome inactivating proteins; ER-stress; saporin; targeted drug delivery; nanovectors

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Fabbrini, M.S.; Katayama, M.; Nakase, I.; Vago, R. Plant Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins: Progesses, Challenges and Biotechnological Applications (and a Few Digressions). Toxins 2017, 9, 314.

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