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Toxicon. 2004 Jun 15;43(8):915-21.

Identification of a mammalian target of kappaM-conotoxin RIIIK.

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AG Molekulare und Zelluläre Neuropharmakologie, Max-Planck-Institut für Experimentelle Medizin, Hermann-Rein-Strasse 3, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.


Despite the great variability of the conus peptides characterized until now only relatively few have been identified that interact with K+ channels. kappaM-conotoxin RIIIK (kappaM-RIIIK) is a 24 amino acid peptide from Conus radiatus, which is structurally similar to micro-conotoxin GIIIA, a peptide known to block specifically skeletal muscle Na+ channels. Recently, it has been shown that kappaM-RIIIK does not interact with Na) channels, but inhibits Shaker potassium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. It was demonstrated that kappaM-RIIIK binds to the pore region of Shaker channels and a teleost homologue of the Shaker channel TSha1 was identified as a high affinity target of the toxin. In contrast the mammalian Shaker-homologues Kv1.1, Kv1.3, Kv1.4 are not affected by the toxin. In this study the activity of kappaM-RIIIK on other mammalian Kv1 K+ channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes was investigated. We demonstrate that kappaM-conotoxin RIIIK up to 5 microM exhibits no significant effect on Kv1.5 and Kv1.6 mediated currents, but the human Kv1.2 K+ channel is blocked by this peptide. The binding of kappaM-RIIIK to Kv1.2 channels is state dependent with an IC50 for the closed state of about 200 nM and for the open state of about 400 nM at a test potential of 0 mV. kappaM-conotoxin RIIIK is the first conotoxin described to block human Kv1.2 potassium channels.

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