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Biomedicines 2016, 4(2), 12;

Plant Toxin-Based Immunotoxins for Cancer Therapy: A Short Overview

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine-DIMES, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Via San Giacomo 14, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Cerullo
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016
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Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins obtained by linking a toxin to either an intact antibody or an antibody fragment. Conjugation can be obtained by chemical or genetic engineering, where the latter yields recombinant conjugates. An essential requirement is that the target molecule recognized by the antibody is confined to the cell population to be deleted, or at least that it is not present on stem cells or other cell types essential for the organism’s survival. Hundreds of different studies have demonstrated the potential for applying immunotoxins to many models in pre-clinical studies and in clinical trials. Immunotoxins can be theoretically used to eliminate any unwanted cell responsible for a pathological condition. The best results have been obtained in cancer therapy, especially in hematological malignancies. Among plant toxins, the most frequently employed to generate immunotoxins are ribosome-inactivating proteins, the most common being ricin. This review summarizes the various approaches and results obtained in the last four decades by researchers in the field of plant toxin-based immunotoxins for cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunotoxin; immunotherapy; plant toxins; ribosome-inactivating proteins; cancer therapy immunotoxin; immunotherapy; plant toxins; ribosome-inactivating proteins; cancer therapy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Polito, L.; Djemil, A.; Bortolotti, M. Plant Toxin-Based Immunotoxins for Cancer Therapy: A Short Overview. Biomedicines 2016, 4, 12.

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