Potential medicinal use
Ricins may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer, as a so-called "magic bullet" to specifically target and destroy cancer cells: Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. Modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. A promising approach is also to use the non-toxic B subunit as a vehicle for delivering antigens into cells thus greatly increasing their immunogenicity. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines.
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