Twenty years of dendrotoxins

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dendrotoxins are small proteins that were isolated 20 years ago from mamba (Dendroaspis) snake venoms (Harvey, A.L., Karlsson, E., 1980. Dendrotoxin from the venom of the green mamba, Dendroaspis angusticeps: a neurotoxin that enhances acetylcholine release at neuromuscular junctions. Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 312, 1-6.). Subsequently, a family of related proteins was found in mamba venoms and shown to be homologous to Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, such as aprotinin. The dendrotoxins contain 57-60 amino acid residues cross-linked by three disulphide bridges. The dendrotoxins have little or no anti-protease activity, but they were demonstrated to block particular subtypes of voltage-dependent potassium channels in neurons. Studies with cloned K(+) channels indicate that alpha-dendrotoxin from green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps blocks Kv1.1, Kv1.2 and Kv1.6 channels in the nanomolar range, whereas toxin K from the black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis preferentially blocks Kv1.1 channels. Structural analogues of dendrotoxins have helped to define the molecular recognition properties of different types of K(+) channels, and radiolabelled dendrotoxins have also been useful in helping to discover toxins from other sources that bind to K(+) channels. Because dendrotoxins are useful markers of subtypes of K(+) channels in vivo, dendrotoxins have become widely used as probes for studying the function of K(+) channels in physiology and pathophysiology.
LanguageEnglish
Pages15-26
Number of pages12
JournalToxicon
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date7 Aug 2000
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001

Fingerprint

Elapidae
Venoms
Kv1.2 Potassium Channel
dendrotoxin
Molecular recognition
Snake Venoms
Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
Aprotinin
Neuromuscular Junction
Potassium Channels
Physiology
Neurotoxins
Arches
Disulfides
Acetylcholine
Neurons
Proteins
Peptide Hydrolases
Amino Acids

Keywords

  • animals
  • elapid venoms
  • elapidae
  • 20th century history
  • humans
  • neurotoxins

Cite this

Harvey, A L. / Twenty years of dendrotoxins. In: Toxicon. 2001 ; Vol. 39, No. 1. pp. 15-26.
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Twenty years of dendrotoxins. / Harvey, A L.

In: Toxicon, Vol. 39, No. 1, 01.2001, p. 15-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

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