Picture of person typing on laptop with programming code visible on the laptop screen

World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

Explore

What can toxins tell us for drug discovery?

Harvey, A.L. and Bradley, K.N. and Cochran, S.A. and Rowan, E.G. and Pratt, J.A. and Quillfeldt, J.A. and Jerusalinsky, D.A. (1998) What can toxins tell us for drug discovery? Toxicon, 36 (11). pp. 1635-1640. ISSN 0041-0101

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

Abstract

Toxins are of interest in drug design because the toxins provide three-dimensional templates for creating small molecular mimics with interesting pharmacological properties. Toxins are also useful in drug discovery because they can be used as pharmacological tools to uncover potential therapeutic targets. With their high potency and selectivity, toxins are often more useful in functional experiments than standard pharmacological agents. We have used two groups of neurotoxins, the dendrotoxins and the muscarinic toxins (MTs), to explore the involvement of subtypes of potassium ion channels and muscarinic receptors, respectively, in processes involved in cognition and the changes in neuronal properties with aging. From our current work, quantitative autoradiographic studies with radiolabelled dendrotoxins reveal widespread distribution of binding sites throughout rat brain sections, but few differences exist between young adult and aged rats. However, displacement studies with toxin K, which preferentially binds to the Kv1.1 subtype of cloned potassium channel, show the selective loss of such sites in regions of the hippocampus and septohippocampal pathway with aging. MTs have been tested for effects on performance of rats in memory paradigms. MT2, which activates m1 receptors, improves performance of rats in a step-down inhibitory avoidance test, whereas MT3, which blocks m4 receptors, decreases performance when given into the hippocampus. This is the first clear demonstration of a role for m4 muscarinic receptors in cognition.