Toxins 'R' Us: more pharmacological tools from nature's superstore

Alan L Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Conus venoms from marine cone snails continue to provide novel bioactive components. Two new classes of conopeptide specifically block alpha(1)-adrenoceptors (rho-conopeptide) and noradrenaline transporters (chi-conopeptides). Both classes are small peptides with two disulfide bonds. Rho-conopeptide is structurally similar to alpha-conotoxins, which block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, whereas the chi-conopeptides are unrelated to other conotoxins. Both types of conopeptides are non-competitive blockers. Because these peptides demonstrate greater selectivity than current drugs in clinical use, they could lead to the development of improved therapeutics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-203
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date8 May 2002
Publication statusPublished - May 2002


  • adrenergic alpha-1 receptor antagonists
  • amino acid sequence
  • animals
  • conotoxins
  • humans
  • molecular sequence data
  • norepinephrine plasma membrane transport proteins
  • symporters


Dive into the research topics of 'Toxins 'R' Us: more pharmacological tools from nature's superstore'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this