Special Issue "Biophysics of Microbial Protein Toxins"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mazen Saleh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Laurentian University, 935 Ramsey Lake Rd., Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biophysical methods used in the study of toxins have been key to our understanding of their 3D structures and their dynamics, interactions with their environments, and their function. Just over a decade following the sequencing of the first protein (insulin, by Frederick Sanger in 1949), the 3D structures of the first proteins (myoglobin and hemoglobin) were reported in 1958 by Sir John Cowdery Kendrew and Max Perutz, respectively.

During this same period, another key technique was being developed. Isidor Isaac Rabi received the Nobel prize in physics in 1944 for the discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and shortly after, Edward Mills Purcell and Felix Bloch received the Nobel prize in Physics in 1952 for developing NMR spectroscopy. Since then, NMR spectroscopy has advanced to include multidimensional NMR, paving the road to resolving complex NMR spectra and allowing for the elucidation of 3D structures and dynamics of smaller proteins.

More recently, the development of cryo-electron microscopy and computational methods has added to our toolbox of methods to study the structure and function of microbial toxins. As of 2020, the Protein Data Bank (PDB) has 150,694 entries of atomic-resolution structures of proteins and includes a large number of microbial toxins.

Other key techniques in this field include fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and electron spin resonance spectroscopy. Collectively, these tools have provided us with a leap forward in our understanding of microbial toxins. Today, we have extensive knowledge of a large number of toxins and their functions, especially those elaborated by pathogenic Escherichia coli, Shigella dysentriae, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium difficile, mycotoxins, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis toxins. The list is very extensive, and we continue to discover new microbial toxins today.

These techniques have also been key to unravelling the intimate interaction of these toxins with their receptors, host cell penetration, and their specific action on their final target, including membranes. This has also been crucial in understanding bacterial pathogenesis and immunology. This Special Issue of Toxins will provide the reader with a collection of recent research findings in this field, and your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Mazen Saleh
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Toxin Function
  • Toxin Conformation
  • AB toxins

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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