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.
Lucchese, G., Spinosa, J. P., & Kanduc, D. (2014). The Peptide Network between Tetanus Toxin and Human Proteins Associated with Epilepsy. Epilepsy Research and Treatment, 2014, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/236309