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Ricin toxin of Ricinus communis

Table of Contents
  1. General Information
    1. NCBI Taxonomy ID
    2. Disease
    3. Introduction
  2. Vaccine Related Pathogen Genes
    1. Ricin A chain (Protective antigen)
  3. Vaccine Information
  4. References
I. General Information
1. NCBI Taxonomy ID:
3988
2. Disease:
Ricin poisoning
3. Introduction
Ricin is a poison that can be made from the waste left over from processing castor beans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Castor beans are used to make castor oil.

Ricin can potentially be used as a biological weapon. It can be turned into an aerosol and inhaled. It can also be ingested from poisoned food or a contaminated water supply or injected.

Signs and symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on whether a person inhales or ingests ricin. Inhaled ricin causes fever, chest tightness, cough and severe respiratory problems, including fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Ingested ricin causes intestinal bleeding and organ damage. The poison can kill within three days of exposure. Even a small amount of ricin may be fatal.

No widely available, reliable test exists to confirm exposure to ricin. There's no vaccine or antidote for ricin poisoning. Treatment is primarily supportive care (Mayo Clinic - Ricin poisoning).
1. Ricin A chain
  • Gene Name : Ricin A chain
  • NCBI Protein GI : 269979609
  • 3D structure: PDB ID : 3BJG
  • Other Database IDs : CDD:278586
  • Taxonomy ID : 3988
  • Gene Strand (Orientation) : ?
  • Protein Name : ricin A chain
  • Protein pI : 5.64
  • Protein Weight : 20645.58
  • Protein Length : 250
  • Protein Note : Ribosome inactivating protein; pfam00161
  • Protein Sequence : Show Sequence
    >ACZ56254.1 ricin A chain, partial [Ricinus communis]
    GPGPKQYPIINFTTAGATVQSYTNFIRAVRGRLTTGADVRHEIPVLPNRVGLPINQRFILVELSNHAELS
    VTLALDVTNAYVVGYRAGNSAYFFHPDNQEDAEAITHLFTDVQNRYTFAFGGNYDRLEQLAGNLRENIEL
    GNGPLEEAISALYYYSTGGTQLPTLARSFIICIQMISEAARFQYIEGEMRVP
    
    
  • Molecule Role : Protective antigen
  • Molecule Role Annotation : Vaccination against ricin using either denatured toxin or its modified A chain subunit (RTA) has been successful in experimental animals but both vaccines have potential toxicities. Recombinant (r) RTA has not been evaluated as a vaccine. However, the advantage of such a vaccine is that these potential toxicities can be deleted by appropriate mutations. In this study three mutants were generated and shown that two lack toxicity as compared to the wild type rRTA. These mutants induce protective humoral immune responses in mice (Smallshaw et al., 2002).
III. Vaccine Information
IV. References
1. Mayo Clinic - Ricin poisoning: Ricin poisoning [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ricin/AN02211]
2. Smallshaw et al., 2002: Smallshaw JE, Firan A, Fulmer JR, Ruback SL, Ghetie V, Vitetta ES. A novel recombinant vaccine which protects mice against ricin intoxication. Vaccine. 2002; 20(27-28); 3422-3427. [PubMed: 12213413].