Cone shells contain therapeutically useful peptides including the conotoxins
, and one such peptide, ziconotide, has been approved.
The venom from marine cone snails, used to immobilize prey, contains numerous peptides called conotoxins
, some of which can act as painkillers in mammals.
Though ziconotide, the only drug created from conotoxins
is available to treat pain, it is less used as it involves an invasive method of infusing the drug directly into the spinal cord.
Due to their enormous diversity and target specificity, conotoxins
have become invaluable tools in molecular pharmacology and as therapeutic agents.
Neurologists, pharmacologists, toxicologists, and other medical specialists and scientists from around the world also discuss the use of other neurotoxins like tetanus toxin, bungarotoxins, conotoxins
, and spider and wasp neurotoxins.
Identification of tyrosine sulfation in Conus pennaceus conotoxins
a-PnIA and a-PnIB: further investigation of labile sulfo-and phosphopeptides by electrospray, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and atmospheric pressure MALDI mass spectrometry.
The final section, on peptide toxins, contains a review of the work on conotoxins
, the biologically active peptides in cone snail venom; sea anemone polypeptide toxins that affect sodium channels; and chapters on sea snake venom (neurotoxins), the cytolytic peptides found in sea anemones, some natural jellyfish toxins, plus an article on pardaxin, the neurotoxic polypeptide from the Red Sea Moses sole, Pardachirus marmoratus, which targets gills and pharynx of aquatic animals and is eyed as a shark repellant.
But in humans, Craik says some of these conotoxins
appear to have analgesic effects.
Structure determination of two conotoxins
from Conus textile by a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and biochemical methods.
We are interested in the cone snail's neurotoxins, called conotoxins
," explained Prof.
Sea snail venom, however, contains peptides called conotoxins
, which act as an effective analgesic in mammals.
He currently heads a NHMRC Program Grant at the IMB focused on dissecting pain pathways using conotoxins
, and will continue to hold joint appointments as Principle Investigator (Molecular Pharmacology) at the IMB, and Xenome as CSO.