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Cell. 2010 May 28;141(5):834-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.052.

A bivalent tarantula toxin activates the capsaicin receptor, TRPV1, by targeting the outer pore domain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-2140, USA.

Abstract

Toxins have evolved to target regions of membrane ion channels that underlie ligand binding, gating, or ion permeation, and have thus served as invaluable tools for probing channel structure and function. Here, we describe a peptide toxin from the Earth Tiger tarantula that selectively and irreversibly activates the capsaicin- and heat-sensitive channel, TRPV1. This high-avidity interaction derives from a unique tandem repeat structure of the toxin that endows it with an antibody-like bivalency. The "double-knot" toxin traps TRPV1 in the open state by interacting with residues in the presumptive pore-forming region of the channel, highlighting the importance of conformational changes in the outer pore region of TRP channels during activation.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20510930
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2905675
Free PMC Article

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