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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2014;221:203-29. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-41588-3_10.

Animal toxins influence voltage-gated sodium channel function.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.


Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels are essential contributors to neuronal excitability, making them the most commonly targeted ion channel family by toxins found in animal venoms. These molecules can be used to probe the functional aspects of Nav channels on a molecular level and to explore their physiological role in normal and diseased tissues. This chapter summarizes our existing knowledge of the mechanisms by which animal toxins influence Nav channels as well as their potential application in designing therapeutic drugs.

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