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Mapping N-Type Calcium Channel Distributions with H-Conotoxins

  • Geula M. Bernstein
  • Owen T. Jones
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)

Abstract

Natural toxins have revolutionized the study of ion channels (1). Owing to their specificity and potency, toxins form the basis of many of the most important ligands used by modern biologists to identify, discriminate, manipulate, or purify ion channels. An excellent example of the biological contribution of toxins is the use of analogs of H-conotoxin GVIA (H-CgTx) in visualizing the distribution of N-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (N-VDCCs) in neurons (Table 1). H-conotoxin GVIA was first isolated from the venom of the Pacific cone snail Conus geographus by Olivera and colleagues (2). This toxin drew attention because of its unusual pharmacological properties, which electrophysiological (3,(4) and biochemical studies (5,(6) now indicate are owing to blockade of voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx into neurons by its exclusive interaction with N-VDCCs (see Section 1.2.2.). Surprisingly, native H-CgTx confirmed both its structure and activity (7).

Keywords

Live Imaging External Region Conjugation Reaction Ligand Internalization Modern Biologist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geula M. Bernstein
    • 1
  • Owen T. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Playfair Neuroscience UnitToronto Hospital Research InstituteTorontoCanada

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