Botulinum toxin A, molecular model. This highly toxic protein is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is one of the most toxic substances known. It binds to the junctions between muscles and nerves and prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This causes paralysis of the muscles and leads to death through respiratory failure. Its action on muscles has led to its use in cosmetic procedures, where tiny doses are injected into overactive muscles in the face, relaxing them and smoothing wrinkles. It is widely administered under the brand name Botox.
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