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Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2006;43:83-103.

Hyperhydroxylation: a new strategy for neuronal targeting by venomous marine molluscs.

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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Centre of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, 33431 Florida, USA.


Venomous marine molluscs belonging to the genus Conus (cone snails) utilize a unique neurochemical strategy to capture their prey. Their venom is composed of a complex mixture of highly modified peptides (conopeptides) that interact with a wide range of neuronal targets. In this chapter, we describe a set of modifications based upon the hydroxylation of polypeptidic chains that are defining within the neurochemical strategy used by cone snails to capture their prey. In particular, we present a differential hydroxylation strategy that affects the neuronal targeting of a new set of a-conotoxins, mini-M conotoxins, conophans, and y-hydroxyconophans. Differential hydroxylation, preferential hydroxylation and hyperhydroxylation have been observed in these conopeptide families as a means of augmenting the venom arsenal used by cone snails for neuronal targeting and prey capture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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