Ricin is a plant protein found in the seeds of Ricinus communis and is potently toxic to mammalian cells. The active component of ricin is an enzyme, and cytotoxicity results from the catalytic modification of ribosomes, rendering them unable to synthesize protein. Because of the ready availability of R. communis seeds, and the abundance and ease of production of ricin, this toxin is a potential agent for bioterrorism.

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