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Open AccessReview

Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

Biotherapy Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, 37 Convent Dr, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This review is dedicated to the memory of Phil Thorpe, an immunotoxin pioneer and esteemed colleague. He is sorely missed.
Toxins 2013, 5(8), 1486-1502;
Received: 15 July 2013 / Revised: 30 July 2013 / Accepted: 6 August 2013 / Published: 21 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxins and Carcinogenesis)
Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunotoxin; antibody; toxin; cancer; immunotherapy; apoptosis; translocation; ricin; diphtheria; Pseudomonas immunotoxin; antibody; toxin; cancer; immunotherapy; apoptosis; translocation; ricin; diphtheria; Pseudomonas
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Antignani, A.; FitzGerald, D. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin. Toxins 2013, 5, 1486-1502.

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