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Biochemistry. 2014 Jan 14;53(1):1-3. doi: 10.1021/bi400882s. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

MrIC, a novel α-conotoxin agonist in the presence of PNU at endogenous α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland , Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia , and Discipline of Pharmacology, The University of Sydney , Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


α-Conotoxins are competitive antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Their high selectivity and affinity for the various subtypes of nAChRs have led to significant advances in our understanding of the structure and function of these key ion channels. Here we report the discovery of a novel 4/7 α-conotoxin, MrIC from the venom duct of Conus marmoreus, which acts as an agonist at the endogenous human α7 nAChR in SH-SY5Y cells pretreated with PNU120596 (PNU). This unique agonist activity of MrIC at α7 nAChRs may guide the development of novel α7 nAChR modulators.

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