Abstract: The fate of tetanus toxin bound to neuronal cells at 0°C was followed using an anti‐toxin 125I‐protein A assay. About 50%; of surface‐bound toxin disappeared within 5 min of warming cells to 37°C. Experiments with 125I‐toxin showed that much of this loss was due to dissociation of bound toxin into the medium. Some toxin was however rapidly internalised, and could be detected only by permeabilising cells with Triton X‐100 prior to assay. To investigate the mechanism of internalisation, tetanus toxin was adsorbed to colloidal gold. Toxin‐gold was shown to be stable, and to recognise the same receptor(s) as free toxin. Quantitation of the distribution of toxin‐gold particles bound to the cell body at 4°C showed that it was concentrated in coated pits. After 5 min at 37°C, toxin‐gold appeared in coated vesicles, endosomes, and tubules. After 15 min, it was found largely in endosomes, and at 30 min in multivesicular bodies. The involvement of coated pits in internalisation of tetanus toxin, but not cholera toxin, was confirmed using the free toxins, anti‐toxins, and protein A‐gold. Toxin‐gold also entered nerve terminals and axons via coated pits, accumulating in synaptic vesicles and in‐traaxonal uncoated vesicles, respectively.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1987
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