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Voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels that control neurotransmitter release are blocked by omega-conotoxin (omega-CgTx) GVIA from the marine snail Conus geographus, the most widely used inhibitor of neurotransmitter release. However, many mammalian synapses are omega-CgTx-GVIA insensitive. We describe a new Conus peptide, omega-CgTx-MVIIC, that is an effective(More)
We describe the properties of a family of 22-amino acid peptides, the mu-conotoxins, which are useful probes for investigating voltage-dependent sodium channels of excitable tissues. The mu-conotoxins are present in the venom of the piscivorous marine snail, Conus geographus L. We have purified seven homologs of the mu-conotoxin set and determined their(More)
A novel toxin, omega-conotoxin (omega-CgTX), from the venom of the fish-eating marine mollusc Conus geographus has been purified and biochemically characterized. Recently, this omega-conotoxin has been shown to inhibit the voltage-activated entry of Ca2+, thus providing a potentially powerful probe for exploring the vertebrate presynaptic terminal [Kerr, L.(More)
Blockade of Ca2+ channels by omega-conotoxin GVIA, a 27 amino acid peptide from the venom of the marine snail Conus geographus, was investigated with patch-clamp recordings of whole-cell and unitary currents in a variety of cell types. In dorsal root ganglion neurons, the toxin produces persistent block of L- and N-type Ca2+ channels but only transiently(More)
The vasopressin-oxytocin family of peptides is of very ancient lineage, found in organisms as diverse as hydra and man. Although these peptides have been intensively studied in vertebrates, the presumably more extensive invertebrate series was defined primarily by immunological methods. In this report, we describe the purification and structures of two(More)
The omega-conotoxins from the venom of fish-hunting cone snails are probably the most useful of presently available ligands for neuronal Ca channels from vertebrates. Two of these peptide toxins, omega-conotoxins MVIIA and MVIIB from the venom of Conus magus, were purified. The amino acid sequences show significant differences from omega-conotoxins from(More)
To paralyze their more agile prey, the venomous fish-hunting cone snails (Conus) have developed a potent biochemical strategy. They produce several classes of toxic peptides (conotoxins) that attack a series of successive physiological targets in the neuromuscular system of the fish. The peptides include presynaptic omega-conotoxins that prevent the(More)
We report the characterization of a new sodium channel blocker, mu-conotoxin PIIIA(mu-PIIIA). The peptide has been synthesized chemically and its disulfide bridging pattern determined. The structure of the new peptide is: [sequence: see text] where Z = pyroglutamate and O = 4-trans-hydroxyproline. We demonstrate that Arginine-14 (Arg14) is a key residue;(More)
We purified and characterized a novel peptide from the venom of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus striatus that inhibits voltage-gated K+ channels. The peptide, kappaA-conotoxin SIVA, causes characteristic spastic paralytic symptoms when injected into fish, and in frog nerve-muscle preparations exposed to the toxin, repetitive action potentials are seen in(More)
Conus venoms contain a remarkable diversity of pharmacologically active small peptides. Their targets are ion channels and receptors in the neuromuscular system. The venom of Conus geographus contains high-affinity peptides that act on voltage-sensitive calcium channels, sodium channels, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, acetylcholine receptors, and(More)