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Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 42  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 745 - 753

Chemical synthesis and characterization of two {alpha}4/7-conotoxins

C Peng, W Chen, T Sanders, G Chew, J Liu, E Hawrot and C. Chi


-Conotoxins are small disulfide-constrained peptides that act as potent and selective antagonists on specific subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We previously cloned two -conotoxins, Mr1.1 from the molluscivorous Conus marmoreus and Lp1.4 from the vermivorous Conus leopardus. Both of them have the typical 4/7-type framework of the subfamily of -conotoxins that act on neuronal nAChRs. In this work, we chemically synthesized these two toxins and characterized their functional properties. The synthetic Mr1.1 could primarily inhibit acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked currents reversibly in the oocyte-expressed rat 7 nAChR, whereas Lp1.4 was an unexpected specific blocker of the mouse fetal muscle 1β1 receptor. Although their inhibition affinities were relatively low, their unique receptor recognition profiles make them valuable tools for toxin-receptor interaction studies. Mr1.1 could also suppress the inflammatory response to pain in vivo, suggesting that it should be further investigated with respect to its molecular role in analgesia and its mechanism or therapeutic target for the treatment of pain.

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