Ricinus communis is classified as the most poisonous plant on earth for humans. The toxicity of raw castor beans is due to the presence of ricin, a naturally occurring lectin (a carbohydrate-binding protein). Ricin is a globular, glycosylated heterodimer of approximately 60–65 kDa. Ricin toxin A chain (RTA) and ricin toxin B chain (RTB) are of similar molecular weights, approximately 32 and 34 kDa, respectively. RTA is an N-glycoside hydrolase composed of 267 amino acids.

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