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The Janus-faced atracotoxins are specific blockers of invertebrate K(Ca) channels

The Janus-faced atracotoxins are a unique family of excitatory peptide toxins that contain a rare vicinal disulfide bridge. Although lethal to a wide range of invertebrates, their molecular target has remained enigmatic for almost a decade. We demonstrate here that these toxins are selective, high-affinity blockers of invertebrate Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (K(Ca)) channels. Janus-faced atracotoxin (J-ACTX)-Hv1c, the prototypic member of this toxin family, selectively blocked K(Ca) channels in cockroach unpaired dorsal median neurons with an IC(50) of 2 nm, but it did not significantly affect a wide range of other voltage-activated K(+), Ca(2+) or Na(+) channel subtypes. J-ACTX-Hv1c blocked heterologously expressed cockroach large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (pSlo) channels without a significant shift in the voltage dependence of activation. However, the block was voltage-dependent, indicating that the toxin probably acts as a pore blocker rather than a gating modifier. The molecular basis of the insect selectivity of J-ACTX-Hv1c was established by its failure to significantly inhibit mouse mSlo currents (IC(50) approximately 10 mum) and its lack of activity on rat dorsal root ganglion neuron K(Ca) channel currents. This study establishes the Janus-faced atracotoxins as valuable tools for the study of invertebrate K(Ca) channels and suggests that K(Ca) channels might be potential insecticide targets

Keywords : Amino Acid Sequence,Animals,antagonists & inhibitors,Cell Line,chemistry,cytology,drug effects,Electric Conductivity,Humans,Insecticides,metabolism,Mice,Models,Molecular,Molecular Sequence Data,Neurons,Patch-Clamp Techniques,Periplaneta,physiology,Potassium Channel Blockers,Potassium Channels,Calcium-Activated,Potassium Channels,Voltage-Gated,Rats,Sequence Homology,Amino Acid,Spider Venoms,toxicity,, Janusfaced,Atracotoxins,Are,Specific,Blockers, laser spine institute london ontario

Date of Publication : 2008 Aug

Authors : Gunning SJ;Maggio F;Windley MJ;Valenzuela SM;King GF;Nicholson GM;

Organisation : Neurotoxin Research Group, Department of Medical & Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Journal of Publication : FEBS J

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18625007

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