Alpha neurotoxins

Carmel Maree Barber, Geoffrey K Isbister, Wayne Clarence Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

alpha-Neurotoxins have been isolated from hydrophid, elapid and, more recently, colubrid snake venoms. Also referred to as postsynaptic neurotoxins or curare mimetic neurotoxins, they play an important role in the capture and/or killing of prey by binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the skeletal muscle disrupting neurotransmission. They are also thought to cause respiratory paralysis in envenomed humans. This review will discuss the historical background into the discovery, isolation, structure and mechanism of action of the alpha-neurotoxins, including targets and cellular outcomes, and then will examine the potential uses of alpha-neurotoxins as pharmacological tools and/or as drug leads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47 - 58
Number of pages12
JournalToxicon
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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