Functional Characterization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype H as a Hybrid of Known Serotypes F and A (BoNT F/A)
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Functional Characterization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype H as a Hybrid of Known Serotypes F and A (BoNT F/A)

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  • Alternative Title:
    Anal Chem
  • Description:
    A unique strain of Clostridium botulinum (IBCA10-7060) was recently discovered which produces two toxins: botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotype B and a novel BoNT reported as serotype H. Previous molecular assessment showed that the light chain (LC) of the novel BoNT most resembled the bont of the light chain of known subtype F5, while the C-terminus of the heavy chain (HC) most resembled the binding domain of serotype A. We evaluated the functionality of both toxins produced in culture by first incorporating an immunoaffinity step using monoclonal antibodies to purify BoNT from culture supernatants and tested each immune-captured neurotoxin with full-length substrates vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP-2), synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), syntaxin, and shortened peptides representing the substrates. The BoNT/B produced by this strain behaved as a typical BoNT/B, having immunoaffinity for anti-B monoclonal antibodies and cleaving both full length VAMP-2 and a peptide based on the sequence of VAMP-2 in the expected location. As expected, there was no activity toward SNAP-25 or syntaxin. The novel BoNT demonstrated immunoaffinity for anti-A monoclonal antibodies but did not cleave SNAP-25 as expected for BoNT/A. Instead, the novel BoNT cleaved VAMP-2 and VAMP-2-based peptides in the same location as BoNT/F5. This is the first discovery of a single botulinum neurotoxin with BoNT/A antigenicity and BoNT/F light chain function. This work suggests that the newly reported serotype H may actually be a hybrid of previously known BoNT serotype A and serotype F, specifically subtype F5.
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