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Biochemistry. 1998 Feb 10;37(6):1470-7.

gamma-Conotoxin-PnVIIA, a gamma-carboxyglutamate-containing peptide agonist of neuronal pacemaker cation currents.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


A novel gamma-carboxyglutamate-containing peptide, designated gamma-conotoxin-PnVIIA, is described from the venom of the molluscivorous snail Conus pennaceus. gamma PnVIIA, triggers depolarization and firing of action potential bursts in the caudodorsal neurons of Lymnaea. This effect is due to activation or enhancement of a slow inward cation current that may underly endogenous bursting activity of these neurons. The amino acid sequence of gamma PnVIIA was determined as DCTSWFGRCTVNS gamma CCSNSCDQTYC gamma-LYAFOS (where gamma is gamma-carboxyglutamate, O is trans-4-hydroxyproline), thus gamma PnVIIA belongs to the six cysteine four loop structural family of conotoxins, and is most homologous to the previously described excitatory conotoxin-TxVIIA. Interestingly, TxVIIA did not induce action potentials in Lymnaea caudodorsal neurons. gamma PnVIIA is the prototype of a new class of gamma-conotoxins that will provide tools for the study of voltage-gated pacemaker channels, which underly bursting processes in excitable systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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