Polypeptide neurotoxins from mamba venoms that facilitate transmitter release

Alan L. Harvey, Evert Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


As Howard described in his recent TIPS review, most of the prejunctional neurotoxins which are found in snake venoms are phospholipases which destroy motor nerve terminals and hence block transmission to skeletal muscles. However, there is another group of neurotoxins that have recently been isolated from mamba venoms. These toxins, including the prototype dendrotoxin, enhance the amount of chemical transmitter released in response to stimulation. They do not have enzyme activity and do not damage the nerve terminals. Because of their high potency and virtual irreversibility, dendrotoxin and its homologues will be useful in studies of the mechanisms controlling neurotransmitter release and for isolating components involved in release processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-72
Number of pages2
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984


  • neurotoxins
  • mamba venoms
  • polypeptide neurotoxins
  • transmitter release

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