University of California, Irvine Scientists Help Identify Possible Botulism Blocker

Published: Oct 14, 2013

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U.S. and German scientists have decoded a key molecular gateway for the toxin that causes botulism, pointing the way to treatments that can keep the food-borne poison out of the bloodstream. Study leaders Rongsheng Jin, associate professor of physiology & biophysics at UC Irvine, and Andreas Rummel of the Institute for Toxicology at Germany’s Hannover Medical School created a three-dimensional crystal model of a complex protein compound in the botulinum neurotoxin. This compound binds to the inner lining of the small intestine and allows passage of the toxin into the bloodstream.

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