Research Topic

Pore-forming Toxins: Their impact on Biotechnology and Nanotechnology

About this Research Topic

Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) have been developed by organisms due to adaptation to their environment for food, invading other organisms, and for defence. The study of these molecules from the biological point of view has set the standard for their incorporation into research in biotechnology, biomedicine and nanotechnology. Pore-forming toxins are polypeptide molecules produced by bacteria, venomous vertebrates, and invertebrates. The main target of action of these toxins is the plasma membrane. Toxins characterized by having two conformation states, inactive monomers and active oligomers, the second being inserted into the cell membrane to give rise to pores in the lipid layer of the cell membrane changes in the conformation of this cell structure. The recognitions of monomers by the membrane is through their lipid or protein composition. Due to these characteristics, PFTs have been good candidates for the rational design of molecular tools to analyzing lipid distribution and identification due to their specific interaction with plasma membrane lipids, design of immunotoxins as tools, nanosensors and adjuvants.

PFTs are the most widespread group of sophisticated toxins in nature. They have based models in the study of various processes in which the cell membrane is involved, protein-protein and protein-lipid interaction, conformational changes of proteins when passing by an aqueous medium and adapt to a hydrophobic environment, and on the other hand, the biophysical changes that the cell membrane presents when interacting with the PFTs. Despite the significant advance in these molecules' biochemistry, the mechanism of action of most poorly knowledge. Basic research contributes significantly to developing new therapeutic strategies for cancer care, DNA sequencing, or to combat infection by parasites, bacteria or viruses. The new goals now are to characterize and understand the complete process of the PFT-membrane interaction, the mechanism of action of the PFT, and the cell's response to the changes produced by the formation of a pore.

We welcome contributions to this Research Topic aligned, but not limited to, with the following themes:
• Mechanism of action of pore-forming proteins
• Protein-Lipid interaction for oligomer formation
• Nanosensor based pore-forming toxins
• Immunotoxin design
• Biochemistry and structure of pore-forming proteins
• Phylogeny of pore-forming toxins
• Lipid analysis using pore-forming toxins
• Other target organisms to pore-forming toxins
• Analysis of the cellular response to the effect of pore formation in the plasma membrane


Keywords: pore forming protein, molecular tools, protein-lipid interaction, immunotoxin, nanopore


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) have been developed by organisms due to adaptation to their environment for food, invading other organisms, and for defence. The study of these molecules from the biological point of view has set the standard for their incorporation into research in biotechnology, biomedicine and nanotechnology. Pore-forming toxins are polypeptide molecules produced by bacteria, venomous vertebrates, and invertebrates. The main target of action of these toxins is the plasma membrane. Toxins characterized by having two conformation states, inactive monomers and active oligomers, the second being inserted into the cell membrane to give rise to pores in the lipid layer of the cell membrane changes in the conformation of this cell structure. The recognitions of monomers by the membrane is through their lipid or protein composition. Due to these characteristics, PFTs have been good candidates for the rational design of molecular tools to analyzing lipid distribution and identification due to their specific interaction with plasma membrane lipids, design of immunotoxins as tools, nanosensors and adjuvants.

PFTs are the most widespread group of sophisticated toxins in nature. They have based models in the study of various processes in which the cell membrane is involved, protein-protein and protein-lipid interaction, conformational changes of proteins when passing by an aqueous medium and adapt to a hydrophobic environment, and on the other hand, the biophysical changes that the cell membrane presents when interacting with the PFTs. Despite the significant advance in these molecules' biochemistry, the mechanism of action of most poorly knowledge. Basic research contributes significantly to developing new therapeutic strategies for cancer care, DNA sequencing, or to combat infection by parasites, bacteria or viruses. The new goals now are to characterize and understand the complete process of the PFT-membrane interaction, the mechanism of action of the PFT, and the cell's response to the changes produced by the formation of a pore.

We welcome contributions to this Research Topic aligned, but not limited to, with the following themes:
• Mechanism of action of pore-forming proteins
• Protein-Lipid interaction for oligomer formation
• Nanosensor based pore-forming toxins
• Immunotoxin design
• Biochemistry and structure of pore-forming proteins
• Phylogeny of pore-forming toxins
• Lipid analysis using pore-forming toxins
• Other target organisms to pore-forming toxins
• Analysis of the cellular response to the effect of pore formation in the plasma membrane


Keywords: pore forming protein, molecular tools, protein-lipid interaction, immunotoxin, nanopore


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
17 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 August 2021 Abstract
17 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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