Novel Cell-Based Assays for Detecting Low Levels of Active Ricin Following Decontamination [open pdf - 763KB]
"Ricin is a potent protein toxin derived from the seed of the castor bean plant, 'Ricinus communis'. It is a heterodimeric ribosome-inactivating protein (66 kDa in size) with A and B chains linked via disulfide bonds. The A and B chains must be linked for ricin to be toxic to mammalian cells. The B chain binds to the mammalian cell surface and the A chain enzymatically cleaves 28S ribosomal ribonucleic acid at adenine nucleotide (A4324) near the 3' end of the polynucleotide chain. This deletion results in inhibition of protein synthesis and subsequently, results in cell death. Through a collaborative interagency agreement funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC), the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) and NHSRC have developed a novel bioassay for detecting functional ricin following decontamination procedures. The specific objectives were to develop a novel cell-based assay for functional ricin and to investigate the use and application of the newly-developed bioassay in confirming the absence or presence of functional toxin in post-decontaminated samples from building interior surfaces. Within this report, we summarize the work performed resulting in an optimized cell-based assay, which can reliably detect low levels of holoricin."
Report No. ECBC-TR-918; Edgewood Chemical Biological Center-Technical Report-918
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/