The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins

Rickey Paige Hicks, Mark G. Hartell, Daniel A. Nichols, Apurba K. Bhattacharjee, John E. van Hamont, Donald R. Skillman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The potential use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological or chemical) by terrorist organizations represents a major threat to world peace and safety. Only a limited number of vaccines are available to protect the general population from the medical consequences of these weapons. In addition there are major health concerns associated with a pre-exposure mass vaccination of the general population. To reduce or eliminate the impact of these terrible threats, new drugs must be developed to safely treat individuals exposed to these agents. A review of all therapeutic agents under development for the treatment of the illnesses and injuries that result from exposure to nuclear, biological or chemical warfare agents is beyond the scope of any single article. The intent here is to provide a focused review for medicinal and organic chemists of three widely discussed and easily deployed biological warfare agents, botulinum neurotoxin and ricin toxins and the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax will be addressed because of its similarity in both structure and mechanism of catalytic activity with botulinum toxin. The common feature of these three agents is that they exhibit their biological activity via toxin enzymatic hydrolysis of a specific bond in their respective substrate molecules. A brief introduction to the history of each of the biological warfare agents is presented followed by a discussion on the mechanisms of action of each at the molecular level, and a review of current potential inhibitors under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-690
Number of pages24
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

Biological Warfare Agents
Ricin
Botulinum Toxins
Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Nuclear Warfare
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chemical Warfare Agents
Mass Vaccination
Bacillus anthracis
Anthrax
Enzymatic hydrolysis
Weapons
Neurotoxins
Bacilli
Bioactivity
Population
Catalyst activity
Bacteria
Hydrolysis
Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Hicks, R. P., Hartell, M. G., Nichols, D. A., Bhattacharjee, A. K., van Hamont, J. E., & Skillman, D. R. (2005). The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 12(6), 667-690. https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867053202223

The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins. / Hicks, Rickey Paige; Hartell, Mark G.; Nichols, Daniel A.; Bhattacharjee, Apurba K.; van Hamont, John E.; Skillman, Donald R.

In: Current Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 12, No. 6, 01.01.2005, p. 667-690.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Hicks, RP, Hartell, MG, Nichols, DA, Bhattacharjee, AK, van Hamont, JE & Skillman, DR 2005, 'The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins', Current Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 667-690. https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867053202223
Hicks RP, Hartell MG, Nichols DA, Bhattacharjee AK, van Hamont JE, Skillman DR. The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2005 Jan 1;12(6):667-690. https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867053202223
Hicks, Rickey Paige ; Hartell, Mark G. ; Nichols, Daniel A. ; Bhattacharjee, Apurba K. ; van Hamont, John E. ; Skillman, Donald R. / The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins. In: Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2005 ; Vol. 12, No. 6. pp. 667-690.
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