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Title: Non-conventional toxins from Elapid venoms
Authors: Nirthanan, S. 
Gopalakrishnakone, P. 
Gwee, M.C.E. 
Khoo, H.E. 
Kini, R.M. 
Keywords: Elapidae
Muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
Neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
Non-conventional toxin
Three-finger toxin
Weak toxin
Issue Date: 2003
Citation: Nirthanan, S., Gopalakrishnakone, P., Gwee, M.C.E., Khoo, H.E., Kini, R.M. (2003). Non-conventional toxins from Elapid venoms. Toxicon 41 (4) : 397-407. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Non-conventional toxins constitute a poorly characterized class of three-finger toxins isolated exclusively from Elapidae venoms. These toxins are monomers of 62-68 amino acid residues and contain five disulfide bridges. However, unlike α/κ-neurotoxins and κ-neurotoxins which have the fifth disulfide bridge in their middle loop (loop II), the fifth disulfide bridge in non-conventional toxins is located in loop I (N-terminus loop). Overall, non-conventional toxins share ∼28-42% identity with other three-finger toxins including α-neurotoxins, α/κ-neurotoxins and κ-neurotoxins. Recent structural studies have revealed that non-conventional toxins also display the typical three-finger motif. Non-conventional toxins are typically characterized by a lower order of toxicity (LD50∼5-80mg/kg) in contrast to prototype α-neurotoxins (LD50∼0.04-0.3mg/kg) and hence they are also referred to as 'weak toxins'. Further, it is generally assumed that non-conventional toxins target muscle (α2βγδ) receptors with low affinities several orders of magnitude lower than α-neurotoxins and α/κ-neurotoxins. However, it is now known that some non-conventional toxins also antagonize neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Hence, non-conventional toxins are not a functionally homogeneous group and other, yet unknown, molecular targets for this class of snake venom toxins may exist. Non-conventional toxins may therefore be a useful source of ligands with novel biological activity targeting the plethora of neuronal nicotinic receptors as well as other physiological processes. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Toxicon
ISSN: 00410101
DOI: 10.1016/S0041-0101(02)00388-4
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