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    The venoms of Conus snails contain neuroactive peptides named conotoxins (CTXs). Some CTXs are nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRs) antagonists. nAChRs modulate the release of neurotransmitters and are implicated in several pathophysiologies. One venom peptide from Conus archon, a vermivorous species from the Mexican Pacific, was purified by RP-HPLC and its activity on human α7, α3β2, and α7β2 nAChRs was assessed by the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. At 36.3 µM the purified peptide (F27-1, renamed tentatively ArchIIIA) slowly reversibly inhibited the ACh-induced response of the hα7 subtype by 44.52 ± 5.83%, while it had low or no significant effect on the response of the hα3β2 and hα7β2 subtypes; the EC50 of the inhibiting effect was 45.7 µM on the hα7 subtype. This peptide has 15 amino acid residues and a monoisotopic mass of 1654.6 Da (CCSALCSRYHCLPCC), with three disulfide bridges and a free C-terminus. This sequence with a CC-C-C-CC arrangement (framework III) belongs to the M superfamily of conotoxins, corresponding to the mini-M´s (M-1-M-3) conotoxins; due to its size and inter-Cys spacings it is an M-2 conotoxin. This toxin is a novel mini-M conotoxin affecting ligand-gated ion channels, like the maxi-M CTX ψ-conotoxins and α-MIIIJ conotoxin (nAChRs blockers). This peptide seems to be homologous to the reg3b conotoxin (from Conus regius) with an identity of 93.3%, differing only in the third residue in the sequence, serine for threonine, both uncharged polar residues. We obtained, in silico, a probable 3D structure, which is consistent with its effect on neuronal subtypes. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Arisaí C Hernández-Sámano, Andrés Falcón, Fernando Zamudio, Jesús Emilio Michel-Morfín, Víctor Landa-Jaime, Estuardo López-Vera, Michael C Jeziorski, Manuel B Aguilar. A short framework-III (mini-M-2) conotoxin from the venom of a vermivorous species, Conus archon, inhibits human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Peptides. 2022 Jul;153:170785

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    PMID: 35307452

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