4
$\begingroup$

To my understanding, large polypeptides such as botulinum toxin cannot pass the intestinal lining intact. How, then, can it enter the bloodstream and cause botulism poisoning?

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Transcytosis is a process by which large macromolecules are transported across a cell, such as those in the intestinal epithelium. It is used by many toxins and even whole organisms to enter the body. Botulinum toxin also apparently uses this mechanism. I'm not sure how detailed of an answer you want, but the linked to-review is pretty in-depth.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's interesting +1. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jul 13 '15 at 22:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD "Isn't nature wonderful." $\endgroup$ – canadianer Jul 13 '15 at 23:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.