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Toxins 2011, 3(7), 787-801; doi:10.3390/toxins3070787

Ricin Trafficking in Plant and Mammalian Cells

School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2011 / Revised: 21 June 2011 / Accepted: 23 June 2011 / Published: 30 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ricin Toxin)
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Ricin is a heterodimeric plant protein that is potently toxic to mammalian and many other eukaryotic cells. It is synthesized and stored in the endosperm cells of maturing Ricinus communis seeds (castor beans). The ricin family has two major members, both, lectins, collectively known as Ricinus communis agglutinin ll (ricin) and Ricinus communis agglutinin l (RCA). These proteins are stored in vacuoles within the endosperm cells of mature Ricinus seeds and they are rapidly broken down by hydrolysis during the early stages of post-germinative growth. Both ricin and RCA traffic within the plant cell from their site of synthesis to the storage vacuoles, and when they intoxicate mammalian cells they traffic from outside the cell to their site of action. In this review we will consider both of these trafficking routes.
Keywords: ricin biosynthesis; anterograde transport; retrograde transport; endoplasmic reticulum; retrotranslocation ricin biosynthesis; anterograde transport; retrograde transport; endoplasmic reticulum; retrotranslocation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lord, J.M.; Spooner, R.A. Ricin Trafficking in Plant and Mammalian Cells. Toxins 2011, 3, 787-801.

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