Studies of Two Novel Presynaptic Toxins
The use of toxins has been widespread in examining a number of biological phenomena. Every undergraduate in an introductory course in biochemistry is aware of the toxins which inhibit the electron transport system and oxidative phosphorylation, and appreciates the value of these molecules in the understanding of complex biological processes. Our laboratory has long agreed with others in our field that toxins would be useful - in fact, would probably be essential — in unravelling the molecular mechanisms which control release of neurotransmitters at synaptic terminals. We have limited our work to toxins which are active at the presynaptic terminal, for we wish to consider only the relese of neurotransmitter. We have further restricted our attention to toxins which stimulate release, and have avoided working with those which inhibit release. It is worthwhile to examine the logic behind this decision. In Fig. 1 is presented a sketch of the biochemical steps involved in a mechanism of release of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (ACh).
KeywordsPresynaptic Terminal Choline Chloride Electron Transport System Synaptic Terminal Hill Plot
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