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FEBS Lett. 2012 Feb 17;586(4):310-3. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.12.037. Epub 2012 Jan 16.

Human synaptotagmin-II is not a high affinity receptor for botulinum neurotoxin B and G: increased therapeutic dosage and immunogenicity.

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Institut für Toxikologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.


Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release by hydrolysing SNARE proteins essential for exocytosis. The synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin-II of rat and mouse acts as neuronal high affinity receptor for BoNT/B and BoNT/G. Here, we show that human synaptotagmin-II is not a high affinity receptor for BoNT/B and G due to a phenylalanine to leucine mutation in its luminal domain present only in humans and chimpanzees. It eliminates one of three major interactions between synaptotagmin-II and BoNT/B and hereby explains the disparity in potency of BoNT/B in humans and mice as well as the 40-fold higher dosage of rimabotulinumtoxinB versus onabotulinumtoxinA.

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