Genetic modification approaches for parasporins bacillus thuringiensis proteins with anticancer activity

Miguel O. Suárez-Barrera, Lydia Visser, Paola Rondón-Villarreal, Diego F. Herrera-Pineda, Juan S. Alarcón-Aldana, Anke Van den Berg, Jahir Orozco, Efraín H. Pinzón-Reyes, Ernesto Moreno, Nohora J. Rueda-Forero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium capable of producing Cry toxins, which are recognized for their bio-controlling actions against insects. However, a few Bt strains encode proteins lacking insecticidal activity but showing cytotoxic activity against different cancer cell lines and low or no cytotoxicity toward normal human cells. A subset of Cry anticancer proteins, termed parasporins (PSs), has recently arisen as a potential alternative for cancer treatment. However, the molecular receptors that allow the binding of PSs to cells and their cytotoxic mechanisms of action have not been well established. Nonetheless, their selective cytotoxic activity against different types of cancer cell lines places PSs as a promising alternative treatment modality. In this review, we provide an overview of the classification, structures, mechanisms of action, and insights obtained from genetic modification approaches for PS proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7476
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Cancer cells
  • Cry toxins
  • Genetic improvement
  • Parasporins


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