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Properties and action mechanism of the toxic lectin modeccin: interaction with cell lines resistant to modeccin, abrin, and ricin.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Supramolecular Structure
0091-7419
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
1
Pages
15–25
Identifiers
PMID: 732310
Source
Medline

Abstract

The toxic lectin modeccin, which inhibits protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells, is cleaved upon treatment with 2-mercaptoethanol into two peptide chains which move in polyacrylamide gels at rates corresponding to molecular weights 28,000 and 38,000. After reduction, the toxin loses its effect on cells, while its ability to inhibit cell-free protein synthesis increases. Like abrin and ricin it inhibits protein synthesis by inactivating the 60S ribosomal subunits. Modeccin binds to surface receptors containing terminal galactose residues. Competition experiments with various glycoproteins indicate that the modeccin receptors are different from the abrin receptors. In addition, they were present on HeLa cells in much smaller numbers. Moreover, mutant lines resistant to abrin and ricin were not resistant to modeccin and vice-versa. The toxin resistance of various mutant cell lines could not be accounted for by a reduced number of binding sites on cells. The data are consistent with the view that the cells possess different populations of binding sites with differences in ability to facilitate the uptake of the toxins and that in the resistant lines the most active receptors have been reduced or eliminated.

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