Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Recent studies on dendrotoxins and potassium ion channels

Harvey, A L (1997) Recent studies on dendrotoxins and potassium ion channels. General pharmacology, 28 (1). pp. 7-12. ISSN 0306-3623

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

Abstract

Dendrotoxins are small proteins isolated from mamba (Dendroaspis) snake venoms. They block some subtypes of voltage-dependent potassium channels in neurons. Dendrotoxins contain 57-60 amino acid residues crosslinked by three disulfide bridges. They are homologous to Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, such as aprotinin, although they have little or no antiprotease activity. Dendrotoxins act mainly on neuronal K+ channels. Studies with cloned K+ channels indicate that alpha-dendrotoxin from green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps blocks Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 channels in the nanomolar range. In native cells, dendrotoxin appears preferentially to block inactivating forms of K+ current. Dendrotoxins can induce repetitive firing in neurons and facilitate transmitter release. On direct injection to the CNS, dendrotoxins can induce epileptiform activity. Radiolabeled dendrotoxins are useful markers of subtypes of K+ channels in vivo, and structural analogs help to define the molecular recognition properties of different types of K+ channels.