Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 236309, 11 pages
Research Article

The Peptide Network between Tetanus Toxin and Human Proteins Associated with Epilepsy

1Brain and Language Laboratory, Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotions”, Free University of Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
2Faculty of Biology & Medicine, University of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
3Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy

Received 7 March 2014; Revised 24 April 2014; Accepted 13 May 2014; Published 1 June 2014

Academic Editor: A. Vezzani

Copyright © 2014 Guglielmo Lucchese et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sequence matching analyses show that Clostridium tetani neurotoxin shares numerous pentapeptides (68, including multiple occurrences) with 42 human proteins that, when altered, have been associated with epilepsy. Such a peptide sharing is higher than expected, nonstochastic, and involves tetanus toxin-derived epitopes that have been validated as immunopositive in the human host. Of note, an unexpected high level of peptide matching is found in mitogen-activated protein kinase 10 (MK10), a protein selectively expressed in hippocampal areas. On the whole, the data indicate a potential for cross-reactivity between the neurotoxin and specific epilepsy-associated proteins and may help evaluate the potential risk for epilepsy following immune responses induced by tetanus infection. Moreover, this study may contribute to clarifying the etiopathogenesis of the different types of epilepsy.