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Ricin is a potent cytotoxin that is synthesized in the endosperm cells of maturing seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)[1]. Ricin belongs to a small multi-gene family[2] that is composed of eight members. Ricin is classified as a type II heterodimeric Ribosome Inactivating Protein[1] or RIPs. For toxins in Proteopedia see Toxins.

See also Ricin: A toxic protein; Ricin: Structure and function.

Glycosylated ricin chain A (grey) and chain B (green) bound to dinucleotide APG (stick model) (PDB entry 3rtj)

Drag the structure with the mouse to rotate

3D structures of ricin

Ricin 3D structures

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lord JM, Roberts LM, Robertus JD. Ricin: structure, mode of action, and some current applications. FASEB J. 1994 Feb;8(2):201-8. PMID:8119491
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Montfort W, Villafranca JE, Monzingo AF, Ernst SR, Katzin B, Rutenber E, Xuong NH, Hamlin R, Robertus JD. The three-dimensional structure of ricin at 2.8 A. J Biol Chem. 1987 Apr 15;262(11):5398-403. PMID:3558397
  3. Weston SA, Tucker AD, Thatcher DR, Derbyshire DJ, Pauptit RA. X-ray structure of recombinant ricin A-chain at 1.8 A resolution. J Mol Biol. 1994 Dec 9;244(4):410-22. PMID:7990130 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jmbi.1994.1739
  4. Rutenber E, Ready M, Robertus JD. Structure and evolution of ricin B chain. Nature. 1987 Apr 9-15;326(6113):624-6. PMID:3561502 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/326624a0
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rapak A, Falnes PO, Olsnes S. Retrograde transport of mutant ricin to the endoplasmic reticulum with subsequent translocation to cytosol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 15;94(8):3783-8. PMID:9108055
  6. Holmberg L, Nygard O. Depurination of A4256 in 28 S rRNA by the ribosome-inactivating proteins from barley and ricin results in different ribosome conformations. J Mol Biol. 1996 May 31;259(1):81-94. PMID:8648651 doi:10.1006/jmbi.1996.0303
  7. Chiou JC, Li XP, Remacha M, Ballesta JP, Tumer NE. The ribosomal stalk is required for ribosome binding, depurination of the rRNA and cytotoxicity of ricin A chain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Microbiol. 2008 Dec;70(6):1441-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06492.x., Epub 2008 Oct 30. PMID:19019145 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06492.x
  8. Tesh VL. The induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins and ricin. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;357:137-78. doi: 10.1007/82_2011_155. PMID:22130961 doi:10.1007/82_2011_155
  9. Yermakova A, Vance DJ, Mantis NJ. Sub-domains of ricin's B subunit as targets of toxin neutralizing and non-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44317. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044317. Epub 2012 Sep 11. PMID:22984492 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044317
  10. Jetzt AE, Cheng JS, Li XP, Tumer NE, Cohick WS. A relatively low level of ribosome depurination by mutant forms of ricin toxin A chain can trigger protein synthesis inhibition, cell signaling and apoptosis in mammalian cells. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012 Dec;44(12):2204-11. doi:, 10.1016/j.biocel.2012.09.004. Epub 2012 Sep 12. PMID:22982239 doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2012.09.004
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