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Title: Toxin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Toxicology, Venom, Poison, Bioterrorism, Median lethal dose
Collection: Biology Terminology, Toxicants, Toxicology, Toxins
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A toxin (from

  • T3DB: Toxin-target database
  • ATDB: Animal toxin database
  • Society of Toxicology
  • The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases
  • ToxSeek: Meta-search engine in toxicology and environmental health
  • Website on Models & Ecotoxicology

External links

  1. ^ "toxin" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "toxin - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  3. ^[1849-1919]&source=bl&ots=7fa0fkkgkV&sig=ItABIJkoSsxyTdM9ts3iSSD3NQc&hl=en&ei=2lwmTKuaH4i6jAffyMGUAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Ludwig%20Brieger%20[1849-1919]&f=false
  4. ^ "The Biological Weapons Convention - An overview". Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Code". Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "biotoxin - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "biotoxin" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  8. ^ Proft T (editor) (2009). Microbial Toxins: Current Research and Future Trends. Caister Academic Press.  
  9. ^ Grigg J (March 2004). "Environmental toxins; their impact on children's health". Arch. Dis. Child. 89 (3): 244–50.  
  10. ^ Vale, Carmen; Alfonso, Amparo; Vieytes, Mercedes R.; Romarís, Xosé Manuel; Arévalo, Fabiola; Botana, Ana M.; Botana, Luis M. (2008). "In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxin Potency and the Influence of the pH of Extraction".  
  11. ^ Oikawa, Hiroshi; Fujita, Tsuneo; Saito, Ken; Satomi, Masataka; Yano, Yutaka (2008). "Difference in the level of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin accumulation between the crabs Telmessus acutidens and Charybdis japonica collected in Onahama, Fukushima Prefecture".  
  12. ^ Abouabdellah, Rachid; Taleb, Hamid; Bennouna, Asmae; Erler, Katrin; Chafik, Abdeghani; Moukrim, Abdelatif (2008). "Paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin profile of mussels Perna perna from southern Atlantic coasts of Morocco". Toxin ( 
  13. ^ Wang, Lin; Liang, Xu-Fang; Zhang, Wen-Bing; Mai, Kang-Sen; Huang, Yan; Shen, Dan (2009). "Amnesic shellfish poisoning toxin stimulates the transcription of CYP1A possibly through AHR and ARNT in the liver of red sea bream Pagrus major".  
  14. ^ Wang, Lin; Vaquero, E.; Leão, J. M.; Gogo-Martínez, A.; Rodríguez Vázquez, J. A. (2001). "Optimization of conditions for the liquid chromatographic-electrospray lonization-mass spectrometric analysis of amnesic shellfish poisoning toxins".  
  15. ^ Mouratidou, Theoni; Kaniou-Grigoriadou, I.; Samara, C.; Kouimtzis, T. (2006). "Detection of the marine toxin okadaic acid in mussels during a diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) episode in Thermaikos Gulf, Greece, using biological, chemical and immunological methods".  
  16. ^ Doucet, Erin; Ross, Neil N.; Quilliam, Michael A. (2007). "Enzymatic hydrolysis of esterified diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins and pectenotoxins".  
  17. ^ Poli, Mark A.; Musser, Steven M.; Dickey, Robert W.; Eilers, Paul P.; Hall, Sherwood (2000). "Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning and brevetoxin metabolites: a case study from Florida".  
  18. ^ Morohashi, Akio; Satake, M.; Murata, K.; Naoki, H.; Kaspar, H.; Yasumoto, T. (1995). "Brevetoxin B3, a new brevetoxin analog isolated from the greenshell mussel perna canaliculus involved in neurotoxic shellfish poisoning in new zealand".  
  19. ^ Morohashi, Akio; Satake, Masayuki; Naoki, Hideo; Kaspar, Heinrich F.; Oshima, Yasukatsu; Yasumoto, Takeshi (1999). "Brevetoxin B4 isolated from greenshell mussels Perna canaliculus, the major toxin involved in neurotoxic shellfish poisoning in New Zealand".  
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Prince of Wales criticised for dodgy detox product, Sense About Science, March 2009


See also

In the context of alternative medicine the term is often used to refer to any substance claimed to cause ill health, ranging anywhere from trace amounts of pesticides to common food items like refined sugar or additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).[23]

When used non-technically, the term "toxin" is often applied to any toxic substance, even though the term toxicant would be more appropriate. Toxic substances not directly of biological origin are also termed poisons and many non-technical and lifestyle journalists follow this usage to refer to toxic substances in general.

Misuse of term

One of the bottlenecks in peptide/protein-based therapy is their toxicity. Recently, in silico models for predicting toxicity of peptides and proteins, developed by Gajendra Pal Singh Raghava's group,[22] predict toxicity with reasonably good accuracy. The prediction models are based on machine learning technique and quantitative matrix using various properties of peptides. The prediction tool is freely accessible to public in the form of web server - ToxinPred at

Computational resources for prediction of toxic peptides and proteins

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that is part of TOXNET. TOXMAP uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Basic Research Programs.

an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are available free of charge on the web. [21] at the [20] The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP)

Finding information about toxins

Environmental toxins from food chains that may be dangerous to human health include:

The term "environmental toxin" can sometimes explicitly include synthetic contaminants [9] such as industrial pollutants and other artificially made toxic substances. As this contradicts most formal definitions of the term "toxin", it is important to confirm what the researcher means when encountering the term outside of microbiological contexts.

Environmental toxins

Some of the more well known types of biotoxins include:

Biotoxins in nature have two primary functions:

Biotoxins vary greatly in purpose and mechanism, and can be highly complex (the venom of the cone snail contains dozens of small proteins, each targeting a specific nerve channel or receptor), or relatively small protein.

Toxins produced by virulence determinants responsible for microbial pathogenicity and/or evasion of the host immune response.[8]

The term "biotoxin" is sometimes used to explicitly confirm the biological origin.[6][7] Biotoxins are further classified into fungal biotoxins, or short mycotoxins, microbial biotoxins, plant biotoxins, short phytotoxins and animal biotoxins.


  • Toxoid, weakened or suppressed toxin
  • Venom, toxins in the sense of use by certain types of animals

Related terms are:

On a broader scale, toxins may be classified as either endotoxins, that are released mainly when bacteria are lysed.

A rather informal terminology of individual toxins relates them to the anatomical location where their effects are most notable:

According to bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substances, or a recombinant or synthesized molecule, whatever their origin and method of production..."[5]

According to an [4]

Toxins are often distinguished from other chemical agents by their method of production—the word toxin does not specify method of delivery (compare with NATO and the Warsaw Pact over whether to call a toxin a biological or chemical agent, in which the NATO opted for biological agent, and the Warsaw Pact, like most other countries in the world, for chemical agent.



  • Terminology 1
  • Biotoxins 2
  • Environmental toxins 3
    • Finding information about toxins 3.1
    • Computational resources for prediction of toxic peptides and proteins 3.2
  • Misuse of term 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor (such as a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (such as botulinum toxin).


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