Clostridial neurotoxins embrace a family of extremely potent toxins comprised of tetanus toxin (TeNT) and seven different serotypes of botulinum toxin (BoNT/A-G). The beta-trefoil subdomain of the C-terminal part of the heavy chain (H(C)), responsible for ganglioside binding, is the most divergent region in clostridial neurotoxins with sequence identity as low as 15%. We re-examined the alignment between family sequences within this subdomain, since in this region all alignments published to date show obvious inconsistencies with the beta-trefoil fold. The final alignment was obtained by considering the general constraints imposed by this fold, and homology modeling studies based on the TeNT structure. Recently solved structures of BoNT/A confirm the validity of this structure-based approach. Taking into account biochemical data and crystal structures of TeNT and BoNT/A, we also re-examined the location of the putative ganglioside binding site and, using the new alignment, characterized this site in other BoNT serotypes.