Time course and temperature dependence of the membrane translocation of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins C and D in neurons

Marco Pirazzini, Ornella Rossetto, Cristina Bertasio, Fulvio Bordin, Clifford Shone, Thomas Binz, Cesare Montecucco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins act inside nerve terminals and, therefore, they have to translocate across a membrane to reach their targets. This translocation is driven by a pH gradient, acidic on the cis side and neutral on the cytosol. Recently, a protocol to induce translocation from the plasma membrane was established. Here, we have used this approach to study the temperature dependence and time course of the entry of the L chain of tetanus neurotoxin and of botulinum neurotoxins type C and D across the plasma membrane of cerebellar granular neurons. The time course of translocation of the L chain varies for the three neurotoxins, but it remains in the range of minutes at 37°C, whilst it takes much longer at 20°C. BoNT/C does not enter neurons at 20°C. Translocation also depends on the dimension of the pH gradient. These data are discussed with respect to the contribution of the membrane translocation step to the total time to paralysis and to the low toxicity of these neurotoxins in cold-blood vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume430
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Botulinum neurotoxin
  • Botulism
  • Tetanus
  • Tetanus neurotoxin
  • Time course

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