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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Binding of muscarinic toxins MTx1 and MTx2 from the venom of the green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps to cloned human muscarinic cholinoceptors

Kornisiuk, E and Jerusalinsky, D and Cerveñansky, C and Harvey, A L (1995) Binding of muscarinic toxins MTx1 and MTx2 from the venom of the green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps to cloned human muscarinic cholinoceptors. Toxicon, 33 (1). pp. 11-18. ISSN 0041-0101

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Muscarinic toxins MTx1 and MTx2 are 7500 mol. wt polypeptides isolated from the venom of the green mamba snake Dendroaspis angusticeps. Previous competition binding studies indicate that the MTxs may be selective for the M1 subtype of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. The present work was undertaken in order to clarify the muscarinic subtype specificity and functional effects of MTx1 and MTx2. Binding interactions were determined using 3H-N-methyl scopolamine (NMS) and cloned human muscarinic receptor subtypes m1, m2, m3 and m4. Some preliminary functional studies were performed on rabbit vas deferens preparations, which contain M1 cholinoceptors. MTx1 and MTx2 inhibited 3H-NMS binding to m1 and m3 receptors, with little effect on binding to m2 and m4 receptors. Affinity was higher for m1 receptors: Ki for MTx1 were 48 nM at m1 receptors and 72 nM at m3 receptors, and Ki for MTx2 were 364 nM at m1 and 1.2 microM at m3 receptors. At m1 receptors, about 90% of the binding of MTx1 and MTx2 appears to be irreversible. On rabbit vas deferens preparations, MTx1 and MTx2 at concentrations above 50 nM behaved in a similar way to the relatively selective M1-agonists McN-A-343 and CPCP (4-[N-(chlorophenyl)carbamoyloxy]-4-20-ynyl-trimethylammoniu m iodide) by reducing responses to nerve stimulation. The results confirm that MTx1 and MTx2 bind to m1 receptors rather than to m2 or m4 receptors, but they also reveal a slightly weaker effect at m3 receptors. The interaction at m1 receptors appears to be essentially irreversible, implying that the toxins could be useful tools in studies of the functional role of m1 muscarinic receptors.