Picture of blood cells

Open Access research which pushes advances in bionanotechnology

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) , based within the Faculty of Science.

SIPBS is a major research centre in Scotland focusing on 'new medicines', 'better medicines' and 'better use of medicines'. This includes the exploration of nanoparticles and nanomedicines within the wider research agenda of bionanotechnology, in which the tools of nanotechnology are applied to solve biological problems. At SIPBS multidisciplinary approaches are also pursued to improve bioscience understanding of novel therapeutic targets with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions and the investigation, development and manufacture of drug substances and products.

Explore the Open Access research of SIPBS. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Dendrotoxins: structure-activity relationships and effects on potassium ion channels

Harvey, A.L. and Robertson, Boyd (2004) Dendrotoxins: structure-activity relationships and effects on potassium ion channels. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 11 (23). pp. 3065-3072. ISSN 0929-8673

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

Abstract

Dendrotoxins are small proteins isolated from mamba (Dendroaspis) snakes. The original dendrotoxin was found in venom of the Eastern green mamba, Dendroaspis angusticeps, and related proteins were subsequently found in other mamba venoms. The dendrotoxins contain 57-60 amino acid residues crosslinked by three disulphide bridges, and they are homologous to Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, such as aprotinin (BPTI). The dendrotoxins have little or no anti-protease activity, but they block particular subtypes of voltage-dependent potassium channels of the Kv1 subfamily in neurones. alpha-Dendrotoxin from green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps and toxin I from the black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis block cloned Kv1.1, Kv1.2 and Kv1.6 channels in the low nanomolar range; toxin K, also from the black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis, preferentially blocks Kv1.1 channels and is active at picomolar concentrations. Structural modifications and mutations to dendrotoxins have helped to define the molecular recognition properties of different types of K+ channels, although more work is needed to characterise the chemical features of the toxins that underlie their selectivity and potency at particular subtypes of channels. Dendrotoxins have been useful markers of subtypes of K+ channels in vivo, and dendrotoxins have become widely used as probes for studying the function of K+ channels in physiology and pathophysiology. With some pathological conditions being associated with voltage-gated K+ channels, analogues of dendrotoxins might have therapeutic potential.