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FEBS Lett. 2006 Oct 9;580(23):5572-9. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

About lipids and toxins.

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Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, Institute of Global Health, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Many mono or multicellular organisms secrete soluble proteins, referred to as protein toxins, which alter the behavior of foreign, or target cells, possibly leading to their death. These toxins affect either the cell membrane by forming pores or modifying lipids, or some intracellular target. To reach this target, they must cross one of the cellular membranes, generally that of an intracellular organelle. As described in this minireview, lipids play crucial roles in the intoxication process of most if not all toxins, by allowing/promoting binding, endocytosis, trafficking and/or translocation into the cytoplasm.

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