Interaction of ricin and Shiga toxins with ribosomes

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;357:1-18. doi: 10.1007/82_2011_174.


Ricin and Shiga toxins designated as ribosome inactivating proteins (RIPs) are RNA N-glycosidases that depurinate a specific adenine (A₄₃₂₄ in rat 28S rRNA) in the conserved α-sarcin/ricin loop of the large rRNA, inhibiting protein synthesis. Evidence obtained from a number of studies suggests that interaction with ribosomal proteins plays an important role in the catalytic activity and ribosome specificity of RIPs. This review summarizes the recent developments in identification of the ribosomal proteins that interact with ricin and Shiga toxins and the principles governing these interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Enzyme Activation
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Ricin / metabolism*
  • Shiga Toxins / metabolism*


  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Shiga Toxins
  • Ricin
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins