Different functions for different botulinum toxins

August 1, 2005

Various types of botulinum toxin — including A, B, C and E — function in different ways at a molecular biology level. Specifically, the different types of Botox (Allergan) act by enzymatically cleaving one of several proteins in the SNARE complex, which normally allows the release of acetylcholine neurotransmitter from nerve terminals to cause muscle contraction.

Various types of botulinum toxin - including A, B, C and E - function in different ways at a molecular biology level. Specifically, the different types of Botox (Allergan) act by enzymatically cleaving one of several proteins in the SNARE complex, which normally allows the release of acetylcholine neurotransmitter from nerve terminals to cause muscle contraction.

"Each botulinum toxin subtype acts at a different site on this complex, and this explains the different effects of the various subtypes, such as why botulinum toxin A (Botox Cosmetic, Dysport/Reloxin, Ipsen/Inamed) works longer than botulinum toxin B (Myobloc, Solstice Neurosciences)," says Edgar F. Fincher, M.D., Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based dermatologic surgeon and clinical instructor at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center-UCLA School of Medicine.

Botulinum toxin A and E both cleave SNAP 25, but they do so at different sites.

For more information: http://dgsom.healthsciences.ucla.edu/

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