Alexander A. Vassilevski

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Spider venoms provide a highly valuable source of peptide toxins that act on a wide diversity of membrane-bound receptors and ion channels. In this work, we report isolation, biochemical analysis, and pharmacological characterization of a novel family of spider peptide toxins, designated beta/delta-agatoxins. These toxins consist of 36-38 amino acid(More)
Antichlamydial activity of cyto-insectotoxin 1a (CIT 1a), representative of a unique class of antimicrobial peptides from the venom of the Central Asian spider Lachesana tarabaevi, was studied. A plasmid vector expressing the cit 1a gene controlled by a human cytomegalovirus tetracycline-dependent promoter was constructed. Impressive inhibition of Chlamydia(More)
Human voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is an important pharmacological target for the treatment of autoimmune and metabolic diseases. Increasing clinical demands stipulate an active search for efficient and selective Kv1.3 blockers. Here we present a new, reliable, and easy-to-use analytical system designed to seek for and study Kv1.3 ligands that bind(More)
P2X3 purinoreceptors expressed in mammalian sensory neurons play a key role in several processes, including pain perception. From the venom of the Central Asian spider Geolycosa sp., we have isolated a novel peptide, named purotoxin-1 (PT1), which is to our knowledge the first natural molecule exerting powerful and selective inhibitory action on P2X3(More)
Plant defense against disease is a complex multistage system involving initial recognition of the invading pathogen, signal transduction and activation of specialized genes. An important role in pathogen deterrence belongs to so-called plant defense peptides, small polypeptide molecules that present antimicrobial properties. Using multidimensional liquid(More)
A novel polypeptide, designated omega-Lsp-IA, which modulates P-type Ca(2+) channels, was purified from the venom of the spider Geolycosa sp. omega-Lsp-IA contains 47 amino acid residues and 4 intramolecular disulfide bridges. It belongs to a group of spider toxins affecting Ca(2+) channels and presumably forms the inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) fold.(More)
Two new polypeptide toxins named Hm-1 and Hm-2 were isolated from the venom of the crab spider Heriaeus melloteei. These toxins consist of 37 and 40 amino acid residues, respectively, contain three intramolecular disulfide bonds, and presumably adopt the inhibitor cystine knot motif. Hm-1 is C-terminally amidated and shows a low degree of homology to spider(More)
Potassium (K+) channels are a widespread superfamily of integral membrane proteins that mediate selective transport of K+ ions through the cell membrane. They have been found in all living organisms from bacteria to higher multicellular animals, including humans. Not surprisingly, K+ channels bind ligands of different nature, such as metal ions, low(More)
To gain success in the evolutionary "arms race," venomous animals such as scorpions produce diverse neurotoxins selected to hit targets in the nervous system of prey. Scorpion α-toxins affect insect and/or mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(v)s) and thereby modify the excitability of muscle and nerve cells. Although more than 100 α-toxins are known(More)
Arthropod venoms feature the presence of cytolytic peptides believed to act synergetically with neurotoxins to paralyze prey or deter aggressors. Many of them are linear, i.e., lack disulfide bonds. When isolated from the venom, or obtained by other means, these peptides exhibit common properties. They are cationic; being mostly disordered in aqueous(More)