The ricine is a toxalbumin produced by a shrub of the family of the Euphorbiacées, the ricinus ( Ricinus communis ). The ricine is a very toxic Glycoprotéine of molecular weight 66.000 and made of two polypeptide chains has and B, connected between them by a Pont disulfide. The chain B makes it possible toxin to be fixed at the cellular wall and the chain has, responsible for the toxic properties, is able to inhibit the synthesis of proteins by attacking the ARN of the Ribosome S, resulting in cellular death. It is present at a concentration varying from 1 to 10% in castor seed. It can be extracted the Castor oil incompletely purified. The molecule of ricine is close to the Curcine produced by Jatropha curcas .
The ricine is a very toxic product. 1 kg of ricine is 6000 times more toxic than cyanide and 12.000 times more poisonous than the venom of the crotale. If it enters the organization by digestive tract, it is mainly destroyed by the proteolytic digestive enzymes but its absorption perlinguale can increase the absorptive quantity. It is thousand times more toxic per pulmonary way (inhalation) or parenteral. “The ricine dispersed in the form of powder or of aerosol can involve within a time varying from a few minutes to several hours of the signs of ocular irritation (feeling of burn, whimpering, conjunctivitis more or less severe) and pharyngée as well as a respiratory irritation more or less marked: cough, dyspnea, pulmonary edema being able to lead to a syndrome of respiratory distress acute (SDRA). It is it should be noted that there exists a risk of anaphylactic reaction. The lethal amount is of 1 mg/kg. ” (Ministry for health, France)
The ricine could be used within the framework of terrorist attacks (see Bioterrorisme and plan Plan Biotox) and already was it in the Eighties (" Bulgarian Umbrella ").
- very complete Site of information on the oil of Ricinus communis : * The Biological threat - agents of the threat - the ricine: * Guides of epidemiologic investigation - Ricine:
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