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Drug Discov Today. 2000 Mar;5(3):98-106.

Conopeptides: From deadly venoms to novel therapeutics.

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Cognetix, 421 Wakara Way, Suite 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


Marine cone snails have developed many distinct venoms that contain biologically active peptides as part of an envenomation survival strategy for feeding and defense. These peptides, known as conopeptides, have been optimized through evolution to target specific ion channels and receptors with very high affinities and selectivities. Side effects of currently available therapies often arise from their lack of selectivity between pharmacologically relevant targets and targets that have a similar structure but different function. As conopeptides can be highly selective between closely related receptor subtypes, they could meet specific therapeutic needs with a reduced likelihood of side effects.


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