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Eur J Biochem. 1992 Mar 1;204(2):657-67.

The complete amino acid sequence of the Clostridium botulinum type-E neurotoxin, derived by nucleotide-sequence analysis of the encoding gene.

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Division of Biotechnology, Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down, Salisbury, England.


The entire structural gene of the Clostridium botulinum NCTC 11219 type-E neurotoxin (BoNT/E) has been cloned as five overlapping DNA fragments, generated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Analysis of triplicate clones of each fragment, derived from three independent PCR, has allowed the derivation of the entire nucleotide sequence of the BoNT/E gene. Translation of the sequence has shown BoNT/E to consist of 1252 amino acids and, as such, represents the smallest BoNT characterised to date. The light chain of the toxin exhibits the highest level of sequence similarity to tetanus toxin (TeTx, 40%). The light chains of BoNT/A and BoNT/D share 33% similarity with BoNT/E, while BoNT/C exhibits 32% similarity. In contrast, the TeTx heavy chain exhibits the lowest degree of similarity (35%) with BoNT/E, with the BoNT heavy chains sharing 46%, 36% and 37%, for neurotoxin types A, C and D, respectively. Comparisons with partial amino acid sequences of the light chain of BoNT/E from C. botulinum strain Beluga and that from the strains Mashike, Iwanai and Otaru, indicate single amino acid differences in each case. Alignment of all characterised neurotoxin sequences (BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/D, BoNT/E and TeTx) shows them to be composed of highly conserved amino acid domains interspersed with amino acid tracts exhibiting little overall similarity. The most divergent region corresponds to the extreme COOH-terminus of each toxin, which may reflect differences in specificity of binding to neurone acceptor sites.

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