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Stecher, B.; Gratzl, Manfred; Ahnert-Hilger, G. (1989): Reductive chain separation of botulinum A toxin — a prerequisite to its inhibitory action on exocytosis in chromaffin cells. In: FEBS Letters, Vol. 248: pp. 23-27


Cleavage of the disulfide bond linking the heavy and the light chains of tetanus toxin is necessary for its inhibitory action on exocytotic release ofcatecholamines from permeabi1ized chromaffin cells [(1989) FEBS Lett. 242, 245-248; (1989) J. Neurochern., in press]. The related botulinum A toxin also consists of a heavy and a light chain linked by a disulfide bond. The actions ofboth neurotoxins on exocytosis were presently compared using streptolysin O-permeabilized bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. Botulinum A toxin inhibited Ca2 +-stimulated catecholamine release from these cells. Addition of dithiothreitollowered the effective doses to values below 5 nM. Under the same conditions, the effective doses of tetanus toxin were decreased by a factor of five. This indicates that the interchain S-S bond of botulinum A toxin must also be split before the neurotoxin can exert its effect on exocytosis.