The journey of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins in neurons

G Lalli, S Bohnert, K Deinhardt, C Verastegtui, G Schiavo

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridia are a major threat to human and animal health, being responsible for pathologies ranging from food poisoning to gas gangrene. In each of these, the production of sophisticated exotoxins is the main cause of disease. The most powerful clostridial toxins are tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of tetanus and botulism. They are structurally organized into three domains endowed with distinct functions: high affinity binding to neurons, membrane translocation and specific cleavage of proteins controlling neuroexocytosis. Recent discoveries regarding the mechanism of membrane recruitment and sorting of these neurotoxins within neurons make them ideal tools to uncover essential aspects of neuronal physiology in health and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431 - 437
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003


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